BACKGROUND: There is a concern that low initial SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers in individuals may drop to undetectable levels within months after infection . Although this may raise concerns over long term immunity, both the antibody levels and avidity of the antibody-antigen interaction should be examined to understand the quality of the antibody response .
METHODS: A testing-on-a-probe-plus panel (TOP-Plus) was developed, which included a newly developed avidity assay built into the previously described SARS-CoV-2 TOP assays that measured total antibody (TAb), surrogate neutralizing antibody (SNAb), IgM and IgG on a versatile biosensor platform . TAb and SNAb levels were compared with avidity in previously infected individuals at 1.3 and 6.2 months post-infection in paired samples from 80 COVID-19 patients .
RESULTS: The newly designed avidity assay in this TOP panel correlated well with a reference Bio-Layer Interferometry avidity assay (R=0.88). The imprecision of the TOP avidity assay was less than 9% . Although TAb and neutralization activity (by SNAb) decreased between 1.3 and 6.2 months post infection, the antibody avidity increased significantly (P <0.0001).