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The risk of SARS-CoV-2 (re-)infection remains present given waning of vaccine-induced and infection-acquired immunity, and ongoing circulation of new variants.


To develop a method that predicts virus neutralisation and disease protection based on variant-specific antibody measurements to SARS-CoV-2 antigens.


To correlate antibody and neutralisation titres, we collected 304 serum samples from individuals with either vaccine-induced or infection-acquired SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Using the association between antibody and neutralisation titres, we developed a prediction model for SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralisation titres. From predicted neutralising titres, we inferred protection estimates to symptomatic and severe COVID-19 using previously described relationships between neutralisation titres and protection estimates. We estimated population immunity in a French longitudinal cohort of 905 individuals followed from April 2020 to November 2021.


We demonstrated a strong correlation between anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies measured using a low cost high-throughput assay and antibody response capacity to neutralise live virus. Participants with a single vaccination or immunity caused by infection were especially vulnerable to symptomatic or severe COVID-19. While the median reduced risk of COVID-19 from Delta variant infection in participants with three vaccinations was 96% (IQR: 94–98), median reduced risk among participants with infection-acquired immunity was only 42% (IQR: 22–66).


Our results are consistent with data from vaccine effectiveness studies, indicating the robustness of our approach. Our multiplex serological assay can be readily adapted to study new variants and provides a framework for development of an assay that would include protection estimates.


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