Determination of the concentration of IgG against the Spike Receptor-Binding Domain that predicts the viral neutralizing activity of convalescent plasma and serum against SARS-CoV-2.
Several hundred millions of people have been diagnosed of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), causing millions of deaths and a high socioeconomic burden. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, induces both specific T- and B-cell responses, being antibodies against the virus detected a few days after infection. Passive immunization with hyperimmune plasma from convalescent patients has been proposed as a potentially useful treatment for COVID-19. Using an in-house quantitative ELISA test, we found that plasma from 177 convalescent donors contained IgG antibodies specific to the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, although at very different concentrations which correlated with previous disease severity and gender. Anti-RBD IgG plasma concentrations significantly correlated with the plasma viral neutralizing activity (VN) against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Similar results were found using an independent cohort of serum from 168 convalescent health workers. These results validate an in-house RBD IgG ELISA test in a large cohort of COVID-19 convalescent patients and indicate that plasma from all convalescent donors does not contain a high enough amount of anti-SARS-CoV-2-RBD neutralizing IgG to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. The use of quantitative anti-RBD IgG detection systems might help to predict the efficacy of the passive immunization using plasma from patients recovered from SARS-CoV-2.