Antibodies are key immune effectors that confer protection against pathogenic threats. The nature and longevity of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is not well defined. We charted longitudinal antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 92 subjects after symptomatic COVID-19.
Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 are unimodally distributed over a broad range, with symptom severity correlating directly with virus-specific antibody magnitude. Seventy-six subjects followed longitudinally to ∼100 days demonstrated marked heterogeneity in antibody duration dynamics. Virus-specific IgG decayed substantially in most individuals, whereas a distinct subset had stable or increasing antibody levels in the same time frame despite similar initial antibody magnitudes.
These individuals with increasing responses recovered rapidly from symptomatic COVID-19 disease, harbored increased somatic mutations in virus-specific memory B cell antibody genes, and had persistent higher frequencies of previously activated CD4+ T cells. These findings illuminate an efficient immune phenotype that connects rapid symptom clearance to differential antibody durability dynamics.