Background & objectives: The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus has challenged public health system worldwide due to the unavailability of approved preventive and therapeutic options. Identification of neutralizing antibodies (NAb) and understanding their role is important. However, the data on kinetics of NAb response among COVID-19 patients are unclear. To understand the NAb response in COVID-19 patients, we compared the findings of microneutralization test (MNT) and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for the SARS-CoV-2. Further, the kinetics of NAb response among COVID-19 patients was assessed. Methods: A total of 343 blood samples (89 positive, 58 negative for SARS-CoV-2 and 17 cross-reactive and 179 serum from healthy individuals) were collected and tested by MNT and PRNT. SARS-CoV-2 virus was prepared by propagating the virus in Vero CCL-81 cells. The intra-class correlation was calculated to assess the correlation between MNT and PRNT. The neutralizing endpoint as the reduction in the number of plaque count by 90 per cent (PRNT90) was also calculated. Results: The analysis of MNT and PRNT quantitative results indicated that the intra-class correlation was 0.520. Of the 89 confirmed COVID-19 patients, 64 (71.9%) showed NAb response. Interpretation & conclusions: The results of MNT and PRNT were specific with no cross-reactivity. In the early stages of infection, the NAb response was observed with variable antibody kinetics. The neutralization assays can be used for titration of NAb in recovered/vaccinated or infected COVID-19 patients.
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