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Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 total Immunoglobulins in a series of Convalescent Plasma and Blood Donors

M. Carmen Martin, Ana Jimenez, Nuria Ortega, Alba Parrado, Isabel Page, M. Isabel Gonzalez, Lydia Blanco-Peris

Abstract
The vast majority of COVID-19 cases both symptomatic and asymptomatic develop immunity after COVID-19 contagion. Whether lasting differences exist between infection and vaccination boosted immunity is yet to be known. The aim of this study was to determine how long total anti-SARS-CoV2 antibodies due to past infection persist in peripheral blood and whether sex, age or haematological features can influence their lasting.

Introduction
After one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most addressed issues about SARS-CoV2 immunity is how long it will last. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases both symptomatic and asymptomatic will develop either antibodies, cell immunity or both after contagion. Although evidence exists of SARS-COV-2 infection inducing long-lived bone marrow specific plasma cells even in mild cases.

Materials and Methods:
The 120,082 donations from 77,259 donors collected from 13/01/2020 to 03/03/2021 were systematically randomized to select a minimum of 127 donations per week, calculated on the basis of the total number of donations and the length of the analysis period. 13,795 samples from 12,741 donors were analysed for a seroprevalence study. 2,432 donation samples came from 1107 repeat donors. The 250 donors with at least two analysed donations, the first one positive, and their 588 donations underwent further analysis.

Discussion
Some reports at the beginning of pandemics pointed out that up to 40% of asymptomatic cases could lose their antibodies after 6 weeks from acute infection, but our data don’t support that statement. More recent studies demonstrate that durable serum antibodies would be granted by long-lived plasma cells. Our study confirms that most individuals would keep their antibodies for at least 16 weeks.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank to all blood donors for making this work possible by allowing research use of their samples by the Biobanco del Centro de Hemoterapia y Hemodonación de Castilla y León. They also thank the staff in charge of blood donation, and lab technicians for their efforts.

Citation: Martin MC, Jimenez A, Ortega N, Parrado A, Page I, Gonzalez MI, et al. (2022) Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 total immunoglobulins in a series of convalescent plasma and blood donors. PLoS ONE 17(2): e0264124. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264124

Editor: Jishnu Das, University of Pittsburgh, UNITED STATES

Received: June 29, 2021; Accepted: February 3, 2022; Published: February 24, 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Martin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: This work has been supported by Roche Diagnostics International Ltd., who provided free equipment and test reagents and runs with article processing charges as well. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: MCM participated as lecturer in two sponsored symposia managed by Roche. No other relevant relationship is to be declared relating to employment, consultancy, patents, products in development or marketed products. I hereby confirm this does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials as detailed online in the guide for authors.

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