Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antibody persistence and viral spread in stool: a long-term care experience before COVID-19 vaccination

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Eren-Kutsoylu O. O., Appak Ö., Nazli-Zeka A., Omeroglu-Simsek G., Tekin N., Bayram B., ...More

IRISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE, no.1, pp.263-268, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11845-022-03095-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.263-268
  • Keywords: Antibody persistence, Natural exposure, Nursing home, Residential care, SARS-CoV-2 antibody, Stool viral shedding
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background Due to elderly residents, nursing homes/assisted living facilities were the most affected places in COVID-19 pandemic. Besides symptomatic patients, asymptomatic patients were detected during routine screening. Aim This study aims to determine the factors that affect antibody response and viral shedding in stool samples after natural exposure to the virus in residents and staff who recovered from COVID-19 before the vaccine was available. Methods This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted at the nation's highest-capacity Residential and Nursing Home. Blood samples were collected between December 15, 2020 and January 15, 2021 from participating residents and staff for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. Stool samples were obtained for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing 2 months after COVID-19. The Social Sciences (SPSS) program version 15.0 was used for statistical analysis. The Mann-Whitney U test compared SARS-CoV-2 antibody concentration between two groups. Results Four hundred sixty-four (52.3%) residents and 424 (47.7%) staff participated. Entirely 259 (29.2%) participants were anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (+) and 255 (28.7%) were SARS-CoV-2 PCR (+). Both antibody and PCR positivity was detected in 196 (76.9%). In PCR (-) group, 63 (10.0%) participants were SARS-CoV-2 IgG (+). Antibody titers were found highest in SARS-CoV-2 PCR (+) male residents. SARS-CoV-2 IgG titers were significantly high in SARS-CoV-2 PCR (+) and hospitalized participants regardless of age. Stool samples were obtained from 61(23.9%) participants and were found negative. Conclusion A durable SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody response was monitored at least 9 months after the participants were diagnosed with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity was detected 76.9% in PCR (+) and 10.0% in PCR (-) participants. Knowing the duration of detectable antibodies is an important finding for developing disease prevention and public health strategies.