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Vaccination of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donors Increases Binding and Neutralizing Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 Variants

By Clara Di Germanio, Graham Simmons, Chloe Thorbrogger, Rachel Martinelli, Mars Stone, Thomas Gniadek, Michael Paul Busch

Posted 30 Oct 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.28.21265622

Background: COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) was widely used as passive immunotherapy during the first waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the US. However, based on observational studies and randomized controlled trials, beneficial effects of CCP were limited, and its use was virtually discontinued early in 2021, in concurrence with increased vaccination rates and availability of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics. However, as new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 spread, interest in CCP derived from vaccine-boosted CCP donors is resurging. The effect of vaccination of previously infected CCP donors on antibodies against rapidly spreading variants of concern (VOC) is still under investigation. Study Design/Methods: In this study, paired samples from 11 CCP donors collected before and after vaccination were tested to measure binding antibodies levels and neutralization activity against the ancestral and SARS-CoV-2 variants (Wuhan-Hu-1, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, D614G, B.1.617.2, B.1.427) on the Ortho Vitros Spike Total Ig and IgG assays, the MSD V-PLEX SARS-CoV-2 Panel 6 arrays for IgG binding and ACE2 inhibition, and variant-specific Spike Reporter Viral Particle Neutralization (RVPN) assays. Results/Findings: Binding and neutralizing antibodies were significantly boosted by vaccination, with several logs higher neutralization for all the variants tested post-vaccination compared to the pre-vaccination samples, with no difference found among the individual variants. Discussion: Vaccination of previously infected individuals boosts antibodies including neutralizing activity against all SARS-CoV-2 VOC, including the current spreading delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Animal model and human studies to assess clinical efficacy of vaccine boosted CCP are warranted, especially since 15-20% of current donations in the US are from previously infected vaccine-boosted donors.

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