An interesting short open-access article in JAMA this week by Edara et al:
There are two types of COVID antibody tests, simpler tests for the presence of anti-COVID antibodies, and more complex tests that actually use cell culture to detect whether there are toxic "neutralizing antibodies." In this report, the authors set up not one, but four types of cell culture systems for neutralizing antibodies, against four major variants.
Two findings. One, vaccinated persons (Moderna version) produced stronger neutralizing antibodies than either new or recent COVID patients. Second, the antibodies performed well regardless which of the four viruses was used in the cell culture system. Click to enlarge.
Note that in the left panel, a few hospital patients 10 days into their illness still had minimal detectable neutralizing antibodies (their dots sit at bottom in each column.) Note also that the convalescing patients (middle panel) were several months post infection, and expected to have gradually falling antibodies, whereas the Moderna patients (right panel) were exactly 2 weeks after their second injection, which might be the natural "peak antibody" timepoint.