The dynamics of humoral immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection and the potential for reinfection

Paul Kellam, Wendy Barclay
Journal of General Virology 2020, 101 (8): 791-797
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that is the causative agent of coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of 17 April 2020, it has infected 2 114 269 people, resulting in 145 144 deaths. The timing, magnitude and longevity of humoral immunity is not yet understood for SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, understanding this is urgently required to inform the likely future dynamics of the pandemic, to guide strategies to allow relaxation of social distancing measures and to understand how to deploy limiting vaccine doses when they become available to achieve maximum impact. SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh human coronavirus to be described. Four human coronaviruses circulate seasonally and cause common colds. Two other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, have crossed from animal sources into humans but have not become endemic. Here we review what is known about the human humoral immune response to epidemic SARS CoV and MERS CoV and to the seasonal, endemic coronaviruses. Then we summarize recent, mostly non-peer reviewed, studies into SARS-CoV-2 serology and reinfection in humans and non-human primates and summarize current pressing research needs.

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