Viral load and antibody levels in patients with COVID-19

Iva Christova, Iva Trifonova, Teodora Gladnishka, Elena Dragusheva, Georgi Popov, Vladislava Ivanova
2021 GSC Advanced Research and Reviews  
Relations between viral load, antibody levels and COVID-19 severity are not well studied and results from such investigations are controversial. In this study, we investigated kinetics of viral load and antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 20 patients with COVID-19 and analysed the association with disease severity. The patients were followed on weekly basis within the first month after the onset and then once per month for the next 4 months. Serum samples were tested for IgA, IgM, and IgG
more » ... dies against SARS-CoV-2 using ELISA tests. SARS-CoV-2 viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was measured by quantitative Realtime RT-PCR. For vast majority of the patients, the viral loads were at their highest levels at presentation and then declined gradually. Despite development of specific antibody response 7-11 days after the onset of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was still detected in nasopharyngeal swabs of most of the patients. There was no direct link between viral load and severity of COVID-19: some of mild and some of severe cases started with a high viral load. There was a relationship between the time from the onset of the disease and the viral load: the highest viral load was in the first days. In more severe cases, there was a tendency for slower reduction in viral load and longer detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Levels of the specific antibodies increased earlier and to higher levels and were present for longer time in patients with more severe manifestations of COVID-19 than in those with milder disease.
doi:10.30574/gscarr.2021.8.3.0180 fatcat:ljfh6gopf5ahto4ykueomgob4y