SCTR-supported COVID-19 biorepository yields new insights into IgG antibody responses in patients with and without symptoms
People who successfully fight off COVID-19 without showing symptoms have much higher levels of IgG antibodies against the virus’s spike protein than do patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, reports a research team led by Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in a recent issue of iScience. The researchers screened for the IgG antibody to the viral spike protein in more than 600,000 blood samples of asymptomatic patients from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia who had successfully fended off the disease and in 94 blood samples of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at MUSC. The samples from the hospitalized patients came from MUSC’s COVID-19 biorepository, which was established with funding and support from the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute and MUSC and is directed by Patrick Flume, M.D., SCTR co-PI. SCTR also helped to recruit patients for the COVID-19 biorepository and to collect and process the specimens. The innovative ELISA test that Mehrotra’s team developed to measure antibody titers could be very useful for determining how long immunity lasts after vaccination or infection and for informing vaccine design.