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Long-term persistence of RBD(+) memory B cells encoding neutralizing antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 infection


Considerable concerns relating to the duration of protective immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) exist, with evidence of antibody titers declining rapidly after infection and reports of reinfection. Here, we monitor the antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) for up to 6 months after infection. While antibody titers are maintained, approximately 13% of the cohort's neutralizing responses return to background. However, encouragingly, in a selected subset of 13 participants, 12 have detectable RBD-specific memory B cells and these generally are increasing out to 6 months. Furthermore, we are able to generate monoclonal antibodies with SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing capacity from these memory B cells. Overall, our study suggests that the loss of neutralizing antibodies in plasma may be countered by the maintenance of neutralizing capacity in the memory B cell repertoire.

Type Journal
Authors Abayasingam, A.; Balachandran, H.; Agapiou, D.; Hammoud, M.; Rodrigo, C.; Keoshkerian, E.; Li, H.; Brasher, N. A.; Christ, D.; Rouet, R.; Burnet, D.; Grubor-Bauk, B.; Rawlinson, W.; Turville, S.; Aggarwal, A.; Stella, A. O.; Fichter, C.; Brilot, F.; Mina, M.; Post, J. J.; Hudson, B.; Gilroy, N.; Dwyer, D.; Sasson, S. C.; Tea, F.; Pilli, D.; Kelleher, A.; Tedla, N.; Lloyd, A. R.; Martinello, M.; Bull, R. A.; Cosin Study Group
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Daniel Christ
Publisher Name Cell Reports
Published Date 2021-04-30
Published Volume 2
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 100228
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100228