Waning of SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity among Healthy Young Adults over Seven Months

C. Suzanne Lea, Kristina Simeonsson, Aaron M. Kipp, Charleen McNeill, Lisa Wilcox, William Irish, Hannah Morris, Omar M. Diaz, John T. Fallon, Rachel L. Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: We conducted a longitudinal study to estimate immunity produced in response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among university students over seven months. Methods: All participants were attending a public university and resided in Pitt County, North Carolina. University students enrolled weekly for 10 weeks between 26 August 2020 and 28 October 2020, resulting in 136 young adults completing at least one study visit by 17 November 2020. Enrolled students completed an online survey and nasal swab collection at two-week intervals and monthly blood collection between 26 August 2020 and 31 March 2021. Results: Amongst 695 serum samples tested during follow-up, the prevalence of a positive result for anti-nucleocapsid antibodies (N-IgG) was 9.78%. In 22 students with more than one positive N-IgG serum sample, 68.1% of the group lost persistence of N-IgG below the positive threshold over 140 days. Anti-spike IgG antibodies were significantly higher among 11 vaccinated compared to 10 unvaccinated. Conclusions: In healthy young adults, N-IgG wanes below the detectable threshold within five months. S-IgG titer remained consistently elevated months after infection, and significantly increased after vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1532
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • longitudinal
  • nucleocapsid protein
  • seroprevalence
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • spike protein
  • young adults


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