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Study Showing Differing COVID-19 Antibody Profiles Among Vaccinated and Naturally Infected Individuals Presented at AACC 2021

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 Sep 2021
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A new study revealing how antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus can vary among recipients of COVID-19 vaccines and naturally infected individuals was presented at the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

In the new study, a research group at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (Cleveland, OH, USA) set out to define differences in antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

The scientists tested for antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD), nucleocapsid protein, and the spike protein’s S1 and S2 subunits in three study groups: 33 fully vaccinated healthcare workers, 52 healthcare workers who had recovered from natural infection, and 34 patients with active infections. The test results revealed that the fully vaccinated individuals had an average of 50-fold higher antibody levels than naturally infected, unvaccinated individuals. Antibodies from the vaccinated group also reacted far more strongly to the RBD and S1 viral antigens, suggesting that antibodies against these proteins could be the best targets for tests developed in the future.

Follow-up studies that profile changes in SARS-CoV-2 antibodies over time for vaccinated individuals and those with breakthrough infections could yield further insights, according to Xiaochun Zhang, MD, PhD, of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “With the third dose of mRNA vaccine on the horizon, this type of study may help identify practical indicator in optimizing booster-dose planning if an association between antibody level and infection risk is proved,” she said.

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University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center 

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