Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Dynamics of Humoral Immune Responses Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection and the Potential for Reinfection

Version 1 : Received: 20 April 2020 / Approved: 21 April 2020 / Online: 21 April 2020 (06:56:12 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that is the causative agent of Coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVD-19). As of the 17th 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.


COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; immune response; antibodies


Biology and Life Sciences, Virology

Comments (0)

Comment 1
Received: 25 July 2020
Commenter: Dr A.C.R.SAMSON
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Paul Kellam and Wendy Barclay,

I have tried in vain to contact the epidemiologist(s) at ICL who I understand published an article about R0 values for covid-19. I understand that their estimates for R0 are significantly lower than those recently provided. I could not find any mention of this work at the ICL site or of any epidemiologists at ICL but your paper concerning covid-19 published in J.Gen. Virol. has given me hope that you may be able to provide me with a contact name and email address for any epidemiologist at ICL so that I can address questions about their R0 estimates. Sorry to bother you with this but perhaps you can help.

Many thanks, Tony Samson
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