Plasmodium infection induces cross-reactive antibodies to carbohydrate epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

Sarah Lapidus, Feimei Liu, Arnau Casanovas-Massana, Yile Dai, John D. Huck, Carolina Lucas, Jon Klein, Renata B. Filler, Madison S. Strine, Mouhamad Sy, Awa B. Deme, Aida S. Badiane, Baba Dieye, Ibrahima Mbaye Ndiaye, Younous Diedhiou, Amadou Moctar Mbaye, Cheikh Tidiane Diagne, Inés Vigan-Womas, Alassane Mbengue, Bacary D. Sadio, Moussa M. Diagne, Adam J. Moore, Khadidiatou Mangou, Fatoumata Diallo, Seynabou D. Sene … & Amy K. Bei
Individuals with acute malaria infection generated high levels of antibodies that cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. Cross-reactive antibodies specifically recognized the sialic acid moiety on N-linked glycans of the Spike protein and do not neutralize in vitro SARS-CoV-2. Sero-surveillance is critical for monitoring and projecting disease burden and risk during the pandemic; however, routine use of Spike protein-based assays may overestimate SARS-CoV-2 exposure and population-level immunity in malaria-endemic countries.
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