Functional convalescent plasma antibodies and pre-infusion titers shape the early severe COVID-19 immune response

Jonathan D. Herman, Chuangqi Wang, Carolin Loos, Hyunah Yoon, Johanna Rivera, M. Eugenia Dieterle, Denise Haslwanter, Rohit K. Jangra, Robert H. Bortz, Katharine J. Bar, Boris Julg, Kartik Chandran, Douglas Lauffenburger, Liise anne Pirofski, Galit Alter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Transfer of convalescent plasma (CP) had been proposed early during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as an accessible therapy, yet trial results worldwide have been mixed, potentially due to the heterogeneous nature of CP. Here we perform deep profiling of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody titer, Fc-receptor binding, and Fc-mediated functional assays in CP units, as well as in plasma from hospitalized COVID-19 patients before and after CP administration. The profiling results show that, although all recipients exhibit expanded SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral immune responses, CP units contain more functional antibodies than recipient plasma. Meanwhile, CP functional profiles influence the evolution of recipient humoral immunity in conjuncture with the recipient’s pre-existing SARS-CoV2-specific antibody titers: CP-derived SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid-specific antibody functions are associated with muted humoral immune evolution in patients with high titer anti-spike IgG. Our data thus provide insights into the unexpected impact of CP-derived functional anti-spike and anti-nucleocapsid antibodies on the evolution of SARS-CoV-2-specific response following severe infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6853
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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