Highly Sensitive and Specific SARS-CoV-2 Serological Assay Using a Magnetic Modulation Biosensing System.
ABSTRACT: Sensitive serological assays are needed to provide valuable information about acute and past viral infections. For example, detection of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibodies could serve as the basis for an "immunity passport" that would enable individuals to travel internationally. Here, utilizing a novel Magnetic Modulation Biosensing (MMB) system and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we demonstrate a highly sensitive and specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG serological assay. Using anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive and healthy patients' samples, and vaccinees' samples, we compare the MMB-based SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay's analytical and clinical sensitivities to those of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Compared with ELISA, the MMB-based assay has an ~6-fold lower limit of detection (129 ng/L vs. 817 ng/L), and it detects an increase in the IgG concentration much earlier after vaccination. Using 85 RT-qPCR SARS-CoV-2-positive samples and 79 -negative samples, the MMB-based assay demonstrated similar clinical specificity (98% vs. 99%) and sensitivity (93% vs. 92%) to the ELISA test, but with a much faster turnaround time (45 min vs. 245 min). The high analytical and clinical sensitivity, short turnaround time, and simplicity of the MMB-based assay makes it a preferred method for antibody detection.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) serological assays are urgently needed for rapid diagnosis, contact tracing, and for epidemiological studies. So far, there is limited data on how commercially available tests perform with real patient samples, and if positive tested samples show neutralizing abilities. Focusing on IgG antibodies, we demonstrate the performance of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assays (Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG and Vircell COVID-19 ELISA IgG) in comparison to one lateral flow assay (FaStep COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device) and two in-house developed assays (immunofluorescence assay [IFA] and plaque reduction neutralization test [PRNT]). We tested follow up serum/plasma samples of individuals polymerase chain reaction-diagnosed with COVID-19. Most of the SARS-CoV-2 samples were from individuals with moderate to the severe clinical course, who required an in-patient hospital stay. For all examined assays, the sensitivity ranged from 58.8 to 76.5% for the early phase of infection (days 5-9) and from 93.8% to 100% for the later period (days 10-18).
Project description:Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases are often treated with immunosuppressants and therefore are of particular concern during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Serological tests will improve our understanding of the infection and immunity in this population, unless they tests give false positive results. The aim of this study was to evaluate the specificity of SARS-Cov-2 serological assays using samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases collected prior to April 2019, thus defined as negative. Samples from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS, n=10), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n=47) with or without rheumatoid factor (RF) and/or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP2) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, n=10) with or without RF, were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using 17 commercially available lateral flow assays (LFA), two ELISA kits and one in-house developed IgG multiplex bead-based assay. Six LFA and the in-house validated IgG assay correctly produced negative results for all samples. However, the majority of assays (n=13), gave false positive signal for samples from patients with RA and SLE. This was most notable in samples from RF positive RA patients. No false positive samples were detected in any assay using samples from patients with MS. Poor specificity of commercial serological assays could possibly be, at least partly, due to interfering antibodies in samples from patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. For these patients, the risk of false positivity should be considered when interpreting results of the SARS-CoV-2 serological assays.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is primarily based on detection of viral RNA, the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies is useful for assessing past prevalence of the disease, and in corroborating a current infection in challenging cases. Sensitive and specific immunoassays provide the ability to identify exposure to SARS-CoV-2, to determine seroconversion, to confirm eligibility for donation of convalescent plasma as well as play an essential part in epidemiological studies. We report on the validation of the Ansh Laboratories SARS-CoV-2 IgG and SARS-CoV-2 IgM ELISA immunoassays. These assays were evaluated for detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies for clinical use in our hospital as part of an orthogonal testing algorithm recommended by the CDC. METHODS:Diagnostic specificity and sensitivity of the IgG and IgM ELISA assays were tested using samples confirmed to be negative or positive for COVID-19 by RT-PCR. We also evaluated precision, analytical interference, and cross-reactivity with known cases of infection with other viruses. Additionally, we validated concordance with molecular and other serological testing and evaluated seroconversion in our patient population. RESULTS:The IgG and IgM ELISA assays showed acceptable precision, were robust to analytical interference and did not exhibit cross reactivity with specimens positive for common respiratory viruses. Both assays exhibited 95% agreement with a primary screening serological assay utilized at our institution as well as with a reference laboratory semi-quantitative method. Concordance with RT-PCR was excellent >6 days after symptom onset (100%). CONCLUSIONS:The Ansh SARS-CoV-2 ELISA assays have good analytical performance suitable for clinical use.
Project description:Serological testing is a powerful tool in epidemiological studies for understanding viral circulation and assessing the effectiveness of virus control measures, as is the case of SARS-CoV-2, the pathogenic agent of COVID-19. Immunoassays can quantitatively reveal the concentration of antiviral antibodies. The assessment of antiviral antibody titers may provide information on virus exposure, and changes in IgG levels are also indicative of a reduction in viral circulation. In this work, we describe a serological study for the evaluation of antiviral IgG and IgM antibodies and their correlation with antiviral activity. The serological assay for IgG detection used two SARS-CoV-2 proteins as antigens, the nucleocapsid N protein and the 3CL protease. Cross-reactivity tests in animals have shown high selectivity for detection of antiviral antibodies, using both the N and 3CL antigens. Using samples of human serum from individuals previously diagnosed by PCR for COVID-19, we observed high sensitivity of the ELISA assay. Serological results with human samples also suggest that the combination of higher titers of antiviral IgG antibodies to different antigen targets may be associated with greater neutralization activity, which can be enhanced in the presence of antiviral IgM antibodies.
Project description:According to anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroresponse in patients with COVID-19 from Croatia, we emphasised the issue of different serological tests and need for combining diagnostic methods for COVID-19 diagnosis. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG ELISA and IgM/IgG immunochromatographic assay (ICA) were used for testing 60 sera from 21 patients (6 with severe, 10 moderate, and 5 with mild disease). The main clinical, demographic, and haemato-biochemical data were analysed. The most common symptoms were cough (95.2%), fever (90.5%), and fatigue and shortness of breath (42.9%). Pulmonary opacities showed 76.2% of patients. Within the first 7 days of illness, seropositivity for ELISA IgA and IgG was 42.9% and 7.1%, and for ICA IgM and IgG 25% and 10.7%, respectively. From day 8 after onset, ELISA IgA and IgG seropositivity was 90.6% and 68.8%, and for ICA IgM and IgG 84.4% and 75%, respectively. In general, sensitivity for ELISA IgA and IgG was 68.3% and 40%, and for ICA IgM and IgG 56.7% and 45.0%, respectively. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody distributions by each method were statistically different (ICA IgM vs. IgG, p?=?0.016; ELISA IgG vs. IgA, p?<?0.001). Antibody response in COVID-19 varies and depends on the time the serum is taken, on the severity of disease, and on the type of test used. IgM and IgA antibodies as early-stage disease markers are comparable, although they cannot replace each other. Simultaneous IgM/IgG/IgA anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing followed by the confirmation of positive findings with another test in a two-tier testing is recommended.
Project description:The massive emergence of COVID-19 cases in the first phase of pandemic within an extremely short period of time suggest that an undetected earlier circulation of SARS-CoV-2 might have occurred. Given the importance of this evidence, an independent evaluation was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to test a subset of samples selected on the level of positivity in ELISA assays (positive, low positive, negative) detected in our previous study of prepandemic samples collected in Italy. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were blindly retested by two independent centers in 29 blood samples collected in the prepandemic period in Italy, 29 samples collected one year before and 11 COVID-19 control samples. The methodologies used included IgG-RBD/IgM-RBD ELISA assays, a qualitative micro-neutralization CPE-based assay, a multiplex IgG protein array, an ELISA IgM kit (Wantai), and a plaque-reduction neutralization test. The results suggest the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in some samples collected in the prepandemic period, with the oldest samples found to be positive for IgM by both laboratories collected on 10 October 2019 (Lombardy), 11 November 2019 (Lombardy) and 5 February 2020 (Lazio), the latter with neutralizing antibodies. The detection of IgM and/or IgG binding and neutralizing antibodies was strongly dependent on the different serological assays and thresholds employed, and they were not detected in control samples collected one year before. These findings, although gathered in a small and selected set of samples, highlight the importance of harmonizing serological assays for testing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and may contribute to a better understanding of future virus dynamics.
Project description:The recombinant nucleocapsid protein (rNP) of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was expressed in a baculovirus system. The purified SARS-CoV rNP was used as an antigen for detection of SARS-CoV antibodies in IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The ELISA was evaluated in comparison with neutralizing antibody assay and the authentic SARS-CoV antigen-based IgG ELISA. Two-hundred and seventy-six serum samples were collected from health care workers in a hospital in which a nosocomial SARS outbreak took place and used for evaluation. The SARS-CoV rNP-based IgG ELISA has 92% of sensitivity and specificity compared with the neutralizing antibody assay and 94% sensitivity and specificity compared with the authentic SARS-CoV antigen-based IgG ELISA. The results suggest that the newly developed SARS-CoV rNP-based IgG ELISA is a valuable tool for the diagnosis and seroepidemiological study of SARS. The SARS-CoV rNP-based IgG ELISA has an advantage over the conventional IgG ELISA in that the antigen can be prepared by laboratory workers without the risk of infection.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Serological testing is needed to investigate the extent of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from front-line essential workers to their household members. However, the requirement for serum/plasma limits serological testing to clinical settings where it is feasible to collect and process venous blood. To address this problem we developed a serological test for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies that requires only a single drop of finger stick capillary whole blood, collected in the home and dried on filter paper (dried blood spot, DBS). We describe assay performance and demonstrate its utility for remote sampling with results from a community-based study. METHODS:An ELISA to the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was optimized to quantify IgG antibodies in DBS. Samples were self-collected from a community sample of 232 participants enriched with health care workers, including 30 known COVID-19 cases and their household members. RESULTS:Among 30 individuals sharing a household with a virus-confirmed case of COVID-19, 80% were seropositive. Of 202 community individuals without prior confirmed acute COVID-19 diagnoses, 36% were seropositive. Of documented convalescent COVID-19 cases from the community, 29 of 30 (97%) were seropositive for IgG antibodies to the receptor binding domain. CONCLUSION:DBS ELISA provides a minimally-invasive alternative to venous blood collection. Early analysis suggests a high rate of transmission among household members. High rates of seroconversion were also noted following recovery from infection. Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in DBS samples can facilitate seroprevalence assessment in community settings to address epidemiological questions, monitor duration of antibody responses, and assess if antibodies against the spike protein correlate with protection from reinfection.
Project description:Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome virus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging severe acute respiratory disease affecting global human health. In this study, a large-scale serological survey of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in dogs and cats was conducted during the first and second waves of COVID-19 outbreaks in Thailand, from April to December 2020. A total of 3215 serum samples were collected from dogs (n = 2102) and cats (n = 1113) living in Bangkok and in the vicinities. Serum samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by using an indirect multispecies enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive and suspected samples were additionally tested for neutralizing antibodies by the surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT). The indirect ELISA results showed that 1.66% (35 out of 2103) of dogs and 0.36% (four out of 1112) of cats were positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The sVNT results showed that all ELISA-positive and suspected samples were negative for neutralizing antibodies. Positive serum samples (35 dogs and four cats) were obtained from clinically healthy animals and animals with mild respiratory signs aged <1-13 years living in Bangkok and Samutprakarn Provinces. In summary, a serological survey revealed evidence of anti-N-IgG antibodies suggesting SARS-CoV-2 exposure in both dogs and cats during the first and second COVID-19 outbreaks in Thailand.
Project description:Serological SARS-CoV-2 assays are urgently needed for diagnosis, contact tracing and for epidemiological studies. So far, there is limited data on how recently commercially available, high-throughput immunoassays, using different recombinant SARS-CoV-2 antigens, perform with clinical samples. Focusing on IgG and total antibodies, we demonstrate the performance of four automated immunoassays (Abbott Architect™ i2000 (N protein-based)), Roche cobas™ e 411 analyzer (N protein-based, not differentiating between IgA, IgM or IgG antibodies), LIAISON®XL platform (S1 and S2 protein-based), VIRCLIA® automation system (S1 and N protein-based) in comparison to two ELISA assays (Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG (S1 protein-based) and Virotech SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA (N protein-based)) and an in-house developed plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). We tested follow up serum/plasma samples of individuals PCR-diagnosed with COVID-19. When calculating the overall sensitivity, in a time frame of 49 days after first PCR-positivity, the PRNT as gold standard, showed the highest sensitivity with 93.3% followed by the dual-target assay for the VIRCLIA® automation system with 89%. The overall sensitivity in the group of N protein-based assays ranged from 66.7 to 77.8% and in the S protein-based-assays from 71.1 to 75.6%. Five follow-up samples of three individuals were only detected in either an S and/or N protein-based assay, indicating an individual different immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and the influence of the used assay in the detection of IgG antibodies. This should be further analysed. The specificity of the examined assays was ? 97%. However, because of the low or unknown prevalence of SARS-CoV-2, the examined assays in this study are currently primarily eligible for epidemiological investigations, as they have limited information in individual testing.