medRxiv. 2020 Jul 16:2020.07.15.20154443. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.15.20154443. Preprint.
SARS-CoV-2 is the newly emerged virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic. There is an incomplete understanding of the host humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 during acute infection. Host factors such as age and sex as well the kinetics and functionality of antibody responses are important factors to consider as vaccine development proceeds. The receptor-binding domain of the CoV spike (RBD-S) protein is important in host cell recognition and infection and antibodies targeting this domain are often neutralizing. In a cross-sectional study of anti-RBD-S antibodies in COVID-19 patients we found equivalent levels in male and female patients and no age-related deficiencies even out to 93 years of age. The anti-RBD-S response was evident as little as 6 days after onset of symptoms and for at least 5 weeks after symptom onset. Anti-RBD-S IgG, IgM, and IgA responses were simultaneously induced within 10 days after onset, but isotype-specific kinetics differed such that anti-RBD-S IgG was most sustained over a 5-week period. The kinetics and magnitude of neutralizing antibody formation strongly correlated with that seen for anti-RBD-S antibodies. Our results suggest age- and sex- related disparities in COVID-19 fatalities are not explained by anti-RBD-S responses. The multi-isotype anti-RBD-S response induced by live virus infection could serve as a potential marker by which to monitor vaccine-induced responses.