SARS-CoV-2 infection induces robust mucosal antibody responses in the upper respiratory tract

Alba Escalera, Amaya Rojo-Fernandez, Alexander Rombauts, Gabriela Abelenda-Alonso, Jordi Carratalà, Adolfo García-Sastre, Teresa Aydillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite multiple research efforts to characterize coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans, there is no clear data on the specific role of mucosal immunity on COVID-19 disease. Here, we longitudinally profile the antibody response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal HCoV-OC43 S proteins in serum and nasopharyngeal swabs from COVID-19 patients. Results showed that specific antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 S proteins can be detected in the upper respiratory tract. We found that COVID-19 patients mounted a robust mucosal antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 S with specific secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody subtypes detected in the nasal swabs. Additionally, COVID-19 patients showed IgG, IgA, and sIgA responses against HCoV-OC43 S in the local mucosa, whereas no specific IgM was detected. Interestingly, mucosal antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 peaked at day 7, whereas HCoV-OC43 titers peaked earlier at day 3 post-recruitment, suggesting an immune memory recall to conserved epitopes of beta-HCoVs in the upper respiratory tract.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109210
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2024


  • Immunology


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