Journal article

Rapid generation of durable B cell memory to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins in COVID-19 and convalescence

Gemma E Hartley, Emily SJ Edwards, Pei M Aui, Nirupama Varese, Stephanie Stojanovic, James McMahon, Anton Y Peleg, Irene Boo, Heidi E Drummer, P Mark Hogarth, Robyn E O'Hehir, Menno C van Zelm



Lasting immunity following SARS-CoV-2 infection is questioned because serum antibodies decline in convalescence. However, functional immunity is mediated by long-lived memory T and B (Bmem) cells. Therefore, we generated fluorescently-labeled tetramers of the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid protein (NCP) to determine the longevity and immunophenotype of SARS-CoV-2-specific Bmem cells in COVID-19 patients. A total of 36 blood samples were obtained from 25 COVID-19 patients between 4 and 242 days post-symptom onset including 11 paired samples. While serum IgG to RBD and NCP was identified in all patients, antibody levels began declining at 20 days post-symptom onset. RBD- ..

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Awarded by NMHRC Senior Research Fellowship

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

AYP is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship. MCvZ is supported by an NMHRC Senior Research Fellowship (1117687). PMH and ROH are supported by an NHMRC Project grant (1145303). Author contributions: GEH designed and performed experiments, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. ESJE designed experiments, analyzed the data, supervised the work and edited the manuscript. PMA and NV performed experiments and analyzed the data. SJ recruited patients and extracted clinical information. JM and AYP established the Alfred Biobank and edited the manuscript. IB conducted neutralization assays. HED conducted neutralization assays and edited the manuscript. PMH designed experiments and edited the manuscript. ROH designed experiments, supervised the work and edited the manuscript. MCvZ designed experiments, analyzed the data, supervised the work, and wrote the manuscript.