Presence of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 plasma

For Yue Tso, Salum J. Lidenge, Lisa K. Poppe, Phoebe B. Peña, Sara R. Privatt, Sydney J. Bennett, John R. Ngowi, Julius Mwaiselage, Michael Belshan, Jacob A. Siedlik, Morgan A. Raine, Juan B. Ochoa, Julia Garcia-Diaz, Bobby Nossaman, Lyndsey Buckner, W. Mark Roberts, Matthew J. Dean, Augusto C. Ochoa, John T. West, Charles Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background Neutralizing-antibody (nAb) is the major focus of most ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials. However, nAb response against SARS-CoV-2, when present, decays rapidly. Given the myriad roles of antibodies in immune responses, it is possible that antibodies could also mediate protection against SARS-CoV-2 via effector mechanisms such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), which we sought to explore here. Methods Plasma of 3 uninfected controls and 20 subjects exposed to, or recovering from, SARS-CoV-2 infection were collected from U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Immunofluorescence assay was used to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in the plasma samples. SARS-CoV-2 specific neutralizing capability of these plasmas was assessed with SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus. ADCC activity was assessed with a calcein release assay. Results SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies were detected in all COVID-19 subjects studied. All but three COVID-19 subjects contained nAb at high potency (>80% neutralization). Plasma from 19/20 of COVID-19 subjects also demonstrated strong ADCC activity against SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, including two individuals without nAb against SARS-CoV-2. Conclusion Both neutralizing and non-neutralizing COVID-19 plasmas can mediate ADCC. Our findings argue that evaluation of potential vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 should include investigation of the magnitude and durability of ADCC, in addition to nAb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0247640
JournalPloS one
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Presence of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 plasma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this