Korean J Intern Med.  2021 Jan;36(1):11-14. 10.3904/kjim.2020.325.

Dynamics of viral load and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in patients with positive RT-PCR results after recovery from COVID-19

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Division of Infectious Diseases, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea
  • 6Department of Infectious Diseases, Seongnam Citizens Medical Center, Seongnam, Korea
  • 7Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea

Abstract

Recently, the number of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who have tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2), via the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, after recovery has increased; this has caused a dilemma regarding the medical measures and policies. We evaluated the dynamics of viral load and anti-SARSCoV-2 antibodies in four patients with positive RT-PCR results after recovery. In all patients, the highest levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies were reached after about a month of the onset of the initial symptoms. Then, the IgG titers plateaued, and the IgM titers decreased, regardless of RT-PCR results. The IgG and IgM levels did not increase after the post-negative positive RT-PCR results in any of the patients. Our results reinforced that the post-negative positive RT-PCR results may be due to the detection of RNA particles rather than reinfection in individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Keyword

Reinfection; COVID-19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
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