High Levels of Common Cold Coronavirus Antibodies in Convalescent Plasma Are Associated With Improved Survival in COVID-19 Patients

Uri Greenbaum, Kimberly Klein, Fernando Martinez, Juhee Song, Peter F. Thall, Jeremy L. Ramdial, Cristina Knape, Fleur M. Aung, Jamie Scroggins, Adriana Knopfelmacher, Victor Mulanovich, Jovan Borjan, Javier Adachi, Mayoora Muthu, Cerena Leung, Mayrin Correa Medina, Richard Champlin, Amanda Olson, Amin Alousi, Katayoun RezvaniElizabeth J. Shpall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 Convalescent plasma (CCP) is safe and effective, particularly if given at an early stage of the disease. Our study aimed to identify an association between survival and specific antibodies found in CCP. Patients and Methods: Patients ≥18 years of age who were hospitalized with moderate to severe COVID-19 infection and received CCP at the MD Anderson Cancer Center between 4/30/2020 and 8/20/2020 were included in the study. We quantified the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, as well as antibodies against antigens of other coronavirus strains, in the CCP units and compared antibody levels with patient outcomes. For each antibody, a Bayesian exponential survival time regression model including prognostic variables was fit, and the posterior probability of a beneficial effect (PBE) of higher antibody level on survival time was computed. Results: CCP was administered to 44 cancer patients. The median age was 60 years (range 37-84) and 19 (43%) were female. Twelve patients (27%) died of COVID-19-related complications. Higher levels of two non-SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, anti-HCoV-OC43 spike IgG and anti-HCoV-HKU1 spike IgG, had PBE = 1.00, and 4 SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies had PBEs between 0.90 and 0.95. Other factors associated with better survival were shorter time to CCP administration, younger age, and female sex. Conclusions: Common cold coronavirus spike IgG antibodies anti-HCoV-OC43 and anti-HCoV-HKU1 may target a common domain for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. They provide a promising therapeutic target for monoclonal antibody production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number675679
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • HCoV-HKU1
  • HCoV-OC43
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • convalescent plasma
  • coronavirus antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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