Are higher antibody levels against seasonal human coronaviruses associated with a more robust humoral immune response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination? Academic Article uri icon

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  • The SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the coronavirus family, which also includes common endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs). We hypothesized that immunity to HCoVs would be associated with stronger immunogenicity from SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The study included samples from the COSRIP observational cohort study of adult paramedics in Canada. Participants provided blood samples, questionnaire data, and results of COVID-19 testing. Samples were tested for anti-spike IgG against SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-229E, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43 antigens. We first compared samples from vaccinated and unvaccinated participants, to determine which HCoV antibodies were affected by vaccination. We created scatter plots and performed correlation analysis to estimate the extent of the linear relationship between HCoVs and SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike antibodies. Further, using adjusted log-log multiple regression, we modeled the association between each strain of HCoV and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Of 1510 participants (mean age of 39 years), 94 (6.2%) had a history of COVID-19. There were significant differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated participant in anti-spike antibodies to HCoV-HKU1, and HCoV-OC43; however, levels for HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 were similar (suggesting that vaccination did not affect these baseline values). Among vaccinated individuals without prior COVID-19 infection, SARS-COV-2 anti-spike IgG demonstrated a weak positive relationship between both HCoV-229E (r = 0.11) and HCoV-NL63 (r = 0.12). From the adjusted log-log multiple regression model, higher HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 anti-spike IgG antibodies were associated with increased SARS-COV-2 anti-spike IgG antibodies. Vaccination appears to result in measurable increases in HCoV-HKU1, and HCoV-OC43 IgG levels. Anti-HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 antibodies were unaffected by vaccination, and higher levels were associated with significantly higher COVID-19 vaccine-induced SARS-COV-2 antibodies.


  • Asamoah-Boaheng, Michael
  • Grunau, Brian
  • Karim, Mohammad Ehsanul
  • Jassem, Agatha N
  • Bolster, Jennifer
  • Marquez, Ana Citlali
  • Scheuermeyer, Frank X
  • Goldfarb, David

publication date

  • January 2022