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Human post-infection serological response to the spike and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

Abstract

To inform seroepidemiological studies, we characterized the IgG- responses in COVID-19 patients against the two major SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N). We tested 70 COVID-19 sera collected up to 85 days post-symptom onset and 230 non-COVID-19 sera, including 27 SARS sera from 2003. Although the average SARS-CoV-2 S and N-IgG titers were comparable, N-responses were more variable among individuals. S- and N-assay specificity tested with non-COVID-19 sera were comparable at 97.5% and 97.0%, respectively. Therefore, S will make a better target due to its lower cross-reactive potential and its' more consistent frequency of detection compared to N.

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