Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccines Are Detectable in Saliva

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Thomas J. Ketas
Devidas Chaturbhuj
Victor M. Cruz Portillo
Erik Francomano
Encouse Golden
Sharanya Chandrasekhar
Gargi Debnath
Randy Diaz-Tapia
Anila Yasmeen
Kyle D. Kramer
Tarek Munawar
Wilhem Leconet
Zhen Zhao
Philip J.M. Brouwer
Melissa M. Cushing
Rogier W. Sanders
Albert Cupo
P.J. Klasse
Silvia C. Formenti
John P. Moore


The approved Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are well known to induce serum antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S)-protein. However, their abilities to elicit mucosal immune responses have not been reported. Saliva antibodies represent mucosal responses that may be relevant to how mRNA vaccines prevent oral and nasal SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Here, we describe the outcome of a cross-sectional study on a healthcare worker cohort (WELCOME-NYPH), in which we assessed whether IgM, IgG, and IgA antibodies to the S-protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD) were present in serum and saliva samples. Anti-S-protein IgG was detected in 14/31 and 66/66 of saliva samples from uninfected participants after vaccine doses-1 and -2, respectively. IgA antibodies to the S-protein were present in 40/66 saliva samples after dose 2. Anti-S-protein IgG was present in every serum sample from recipients of 2 vaccine doses. Vaccine-induced antibodies against the RBD were also frequently present in saliva and sera. These findings may help our understanding of whether and how vaccines may impede SARS-CoV-2 transmission, including to oral cavity target cells.


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Author Biography

John P. Moore, Weill Cornell Medicine

Professor of Microbiology

Weill Cornell Medicine


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