Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 N-Antibody Response in Healthcare Workers, London, UK

Madhumita Shrotri; Ross J. Harris; Alison Rodger; Timothy Planche; Frances Sanderson; Tabitha Mahungu; Alastair McGregor; Paul T. Heath; Colin S. Brown; Jake Dunning; Susan Hopkins; Shamez Ladhani; Meera Chand


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2021;27(4):1155-1158. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Prospective serosurveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in 1,069 healthcare workers in London, UK, demonstrated that nucleocapsid antibody titers were stable and sustained for ≤12 weeks in 312 seropositive participants. This finding was consistent across demographic and clinical variables and contrasts with reports of short-term antibody waning.


The durability of antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is of scientific and strategic interest for public health systems worldwide. After SARS-CoV-2 infection, antibodies are produced against multiple viral epitopes, including the nucleocapsid (N) protein, which is highly immunogenic and abundantly expressed.[1] A key concern is the potential for rapid waning of antibodies and seroreversion (loss of detectable antibodies), as seen with other novel betacoronaviruses,[2] which might represent declining immunity and could compromise serosurveillance.

Frontline healthcare workers are a vital population for serosurveillance because they are at greater risk than the general population. We describe findings from a serosurveillance study conducted in London, UK, by Public Health England (PHE).