01 May 2021
The SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic has induced a global health crisis, which requires more in-depth investigation into immunological responses to develop effective treatments and vaccines. To understand protective immunity against COVID-19, we screened over 60,000 asymptomatic individuals in the Southeastern United States for IgG antibody positivity against the viral spike protein, and approximately three percent were positive. Of these three percent, individuals with the highest anti-S or anti-RBD IgG level showed a strong correlation with inhibition of ACE2 binding and cross-reactivity against non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus S-proteins. We also analyzed samples from 94 SARS-CoV-2 patients and compared them to asymptomatic individuals. SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic patients had decreased antibody responses, ACE2 binding inhibition, and antibody cross-reactivity. Our study shows that healthy individuals can mount robust immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms. Further, IgG antibody responses against S and RBD may correlate with high inhibition of ACE2 binding in individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination.