Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) started to spread in Daegu beginning at the end of February 2020. IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were measured in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 with moderate to severe symptoms to improve the understanding of antibody responses.
Methods: We enrolled 312 patients with COVID-19 admitted to seven hospitals located in Daegu. Using serum (or plasma) samples from patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, both IgG and IgM antibodies were measured using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (R-FIND CO¬VID-19 ELISA, SG medical, Seoul, Korea).
Results: The median value from the initial diagnosis, confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 PCR, to the sampling date was 24 days (day 1 to 88). The total positive rate of IgG was 93.9% and the positive IgM rate was 39.4%, without considering the elapsed period after diagnosis. Positive IgG and IgM rates were highest at 100.0% and 59.0%, respectively, at 3 weeks (15 - 21 days). IgG showed a high positive rate of 79.3% even within 7 days after the initial diag-nosis of the disease and maintained a positive rate of 97.8% until after 8 weeks.
Conclusions: Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, IgG was detected from the beginning of the diagnosis and persisted for an extended time period.