Antibody profiling of COVID-19 patients in an urban low-incidence region in Northern Germany


This explorative monocentric study shows IgA and IgG antibody profiles from 110 patients with self-reported mild to moderate, or no COVID-19 related symptoms after laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2. The study region is in an urban and well-defined environment in a low-incidence region in Northern Germany. We found that approx. 70 % of the patients developed sustainable antibodies 3 weeks or later after the infection. In about 30 % of the patients with mild to moderate symptoms, no significant antibodies could be detected in two consecutive analyses. Conversely, out of ten patients without symptoms, four were repeatedly positive. Expectedly, six had no specific antibodies. The data indicate that antibody-positivity is a useful indicator of a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Negative antibodies do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection. Future studies need to determine the functionality of the antibodies in terms of personal protection and ability to transmit the virus.