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In Pathophysiology : the official journal of the International Society for Pathophysiology

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global health care emergency. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serological profiling of critically ill COVID-19 patients was performed to determine their humoral response. Blood was collected from critically ill ICU patients, either COVID-19 positive (+) or COVID-19 negative (-), to measure anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulins: IgM; IgA; IgG; and Total Ig (combined IgM/IgA/IgG). Cohorts were similar, with the exception that COVID-19+ patients had a greater body mass indexes, developed bilateral pneumonias more frequently and suffered increased hypoxia when compared to COVID-19- patients (p < 0.05). The mortality rate for COVID-19+ patients was 50%. COVID-19 status could be determined by anti-SARS-CoV-2 serological responses with excellent classification accuracies on ICU day 1 (89%); ICU day 3 (96%); and ICU days 7 and 10 (100%). The importance of each Ig isotype for determining COVID-19 status on combined ICU days 1 and 3 was: Total Ig, 43%; IgM, 27%; IgA, 24% and IgG, 6%. Peak serological responses for each Ig isotype occurred on different ICU days (IgM day 13 > IgA day 17 > IgG persistently increased), with the Total Ig peaking at approximately ICU day 18. Those COVID-19+ patients who died had earlier or similar peaks in IgA and Total Ig in their ICU stay when compared to patients who survived (p < 0.005). Critically ill COVID-19 patients exhibit anti-SARS-CoV-2 serological responses, including those COVID-19 patients who ultimately died, suggesting that blunted serological responses did not contribute to mortality. Serological profiling of critically ill COVID-19 patients may aid disease surveillance, patient cohorting and help guide antibody therapies such as convalescent plasma.

Fraser Douglas D, Cepinskas Gediminas, Slessarev Marat, Martin Claudio M, Daley Mark, Patel Maitray A, Miller Michael R, Patterson Eric K, O’Gorman David B, Gill Sean E, Higgins Ian, John Julius P P, Melo Christopher, Nini Lylia, Wang Xiaoqin, Zeidler Johannes, Cruz-Aguado Jorge A


COVID-19, humoral response, immunoglobulins, intensive care unit, outcome, serology