AbstractCurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines effectively reduce overall morbidity and mortality and are vitally important to controlling the pandemic. Individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 have enhanced immune responses after vaccination (hybrid immunity) compared with their naïve-vaccinated peers; however, the effects of post-vaccination breakthrough infections on humoral immune response remain to be determined. Here, we measure neutralizing antibody responses from 104 vaccinated individuals, including those with breakthrough infections, hybrid immunity, and no infection history. We find that human immune sera after breakthrough infection and vaccination after natural infection broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2) variants to a similar degree. Although age negatively correlates with antibody response after vaccination alone, no correlation with age was found in breakthrough or hybrid immune groups. Together, our data suggest that the additional antigen exposure from natural infection substantially boosts the quantity, quality, and breadth of humoral immune response regardless of whether it occurs before or after vaccination.
Published: January 13, 2023