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Antibodies against Spike protein correlate with broad autoantigen recognition 8 months post SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and anti-calprotectin autoantibodies associated with better clinical outcomes

Citation

Moody, R and Sonda, S and Johnston, FH and Smith, KL and Stephens, N and McPherson, M and Flanagan, KL and Plebanski, M, Antibodies against Spike protein correlate with broad autoantigen recognition 8 months post SARS-CoV-2 exposure, and anti-calprotectin autoantibodies associated with better clinical outcomes, Frontiers in Immunology pp. 1-16. ISSN 1664-3224 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 The Author(s) Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.3389/fimmu.2022.945021

Abstract

Autoantibodies to multiple targets are found during acute COVID-19. Whether all, or some, persist after 6 months, and their correlation with sustained anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity, is still controversial. Herein, we measured antibodies to multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens (Wuhan-Hu-1 nucleoprotein (NP), whole spike (S), spike subunits (S1, S2 and receptor binding domain (RBD)) and Omicron spike) and 102 human proteins with known autoimmune associations, in plasma from healthcare workers 8 months post-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (n=31 with confirmed COVID-19 disease and n=21 uninfected controls (PCR and anti-SARS-CoV-2 negative) at baseline). IgG antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 antigens were significantly higher in the convalescent cohort than the healthy cohort, highlighting lasting antibody responses up to 8 months post-infection. These were also shown to be cross-reactive to the Omicron variant spike protein at a similar level to lasting anti-RBD antibodies (correlation r=0.89). Individuals post COVID-19 infection recognised a common set of autoantigens, specific to this group in comparison to the healthy controls. Moreover, the long-term level of anti-Spike IgG was associated with the breadth of autoreactivity post-COVID-19. There were further moderate positive correlations between anti-SARS-CoV-2 responses and 11 specific autoantigens. The most commonly recognised autoantigens were found in the COVID-19 convalescent cohort. Although there was no overall correlation in self-reported symptom severity and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, anti-calprotectin antibodies were associated with return to healthy normal life 8 months post infection. Calprotectin was also the most common target for autoantibodies, recognized by 22.6% of the overall convalescent cohort. Future studies may address whether, counter-intuitively, such autoantibodies may play a protective role in the pathology of long-COVID-19.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, antibodies, autoimmunity, autoantibodies
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Immunology
Research Field:Cellular immunology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sonda, S (Dr Sabrina Sonda)
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Professor Fay Johnston)
UTAS Author:Smith, KL (Miss Kylie Smith)
UTAS Author:Stephens, N (Dr Nicola Stephens)
UTAS Author:McPherson, M (Ms Michelle McPherson)
UTAS Author:Flanagan, KL (Dr Katie Flanagan)
UTAS Author:Plebanski, M (Professor Magdalena Plebanski)
ID Code:152108
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2022-08-11
Last Modified:2022-09-07
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