Early Antibody Response could Predict COVID-19 Outcome

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 2.54 million lives so far affecting more than 114 million people. Treatment benefit with monoclonal antibodies has been only observed in trials involving outpatients with mild to moderate disease but not in hospitalized patients with advanced disease. Researchers from the USA have evaluated the timing of antibody production against SARS-CoV-2 in hospitalized patients.

The study has been published on a preprint server. The study included 33 patients, with 11 females and 22 males ranging from 30 to 95 years. There were 4 to 16 collections per patient over 0 to 42 days after onset of symptoms. The researchers found that patients who expired had significantly lower antibody levels to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the first week after onset of symptoms compared to discharged COVID-19 patients. This study shows that early detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was associated with better survival in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Early levels of antibodies predicted COVID-19 outcome, and this result is consistent with therapeutic antibody benefit early in the COVID-19 disease course. This model is supported by convalescent plasma therapy that shows better outcomes associated with early treatment and lack of benefit with late treatment. The findings show that while developing an early antibody response as an outcome predictor, it is crucial to have a sensitive method such as the flow cytometry bead-based method used in this study to detect antibodies early in the course of disease reliably. 

Ref link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.02.21.21252168v1