[Distribution and timing of antibody to SARS-CoV in SARS cases of transmission chain or non-transmission chain]

Li-ping Wu, Zhi-qiang Mei, Nai-chang Wang, Xi-fang Zhao, Dan-yu Na, Lei Zheng, Li-yuan Zhang, Ze-ping Ren, Shi-hong Fu, Guo-dong Liang
Chinese Journal of Experimental and Clinical Virology 2004, 18 (2): 109-12

BACKGROUND: To find out the timing of serologic responses after illness onset and distribution of IgG antibody to SARS-CoV in SARS cases of transmission chain or non-transmission chain.

METHODS: The IgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-CoV were tested by indirect ELISA in serum samples from 301 clinically diagnosed SARS cases.

RESULTS: Totally 158 SARS cases were involved in 15 chains of transmission. The positive rates of SARS-CoV IgG in those chains were 85.70%-100.00% and the overall rate was 94.30% (149/158). The chain of transmission could spread to four generations, but the SARS cases were reduced with increase of generations. There was no significant difference among positive rates of SARS-CoV IgG for generations, Chi square=5.11, P greater than 0.05. The positive rate of SARS-CoV IgG in cases who were not in chain of transmission was 12.59%(18/143) which was statistically significantly different from that of cases in chain of transmission, Chi square=199.64, P less than 0.001. During days 0-7,8-14,15-21,22-30 after onset, the cumulated positive rate of SARS-CoV IgG was 16.67%, 40.00%, 70.00% and 93.10%, respectively, then was kept at the level above 90% and lasted for 217 days. The cumulated positive rate of SARS-CoV IgM during days 0-7 after onset was the same to that of IgG. During days 8-14, 55.17% of cases had seroconversion for IgM which reached a peak (86.96%) during days 21-30. Then the rate rapidly declined.

CONCLUSION: More than 94% of cases with SARS could produce IgG antibody when they were infected by SARS-CoV. Detecting SARS-CoV IgG could provide a diagnostic evidence for case confirmation. SARS-CoV IgG appeared as early as 7 days after onset and reached the peak at about weeks 4. Then the high rate of antibody was maintained for more than 6 months.

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