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Researchers collaborate on universal antibody testing for COVID-19

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Army researchers collaborate on COVID-19 universal antibody testing

Researchers at the U.S. Army Institute for Infectious Diseases, Laura Prugar (blue mask), Kathleen Huie (print mask), and Nicole Josleyn (purple mask) have used a microneutralizing assay and a high-throughput fluorescence imaging system for SARS. Determines Neutralizing Antibody Levels-CoV-2 in Convalescent Patients. Credits: John W. Braun Jr., USAMRIID VIO

US Army Futures Command researchers are part of a team that has tested alternative methods for measuring COVID-19 antibody levels, resulting in a faster, easier, and cheaper process for large-scale use. I did. Their method has the potential to accurately identify potential donors who are most likely to help infected patients through convalescent plasma therapy.

He is a biochemist and bioengineer at the Army Laboratory of the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command in CCD CARL South, Austin, Texas, and is the Chief Technical Officer of the Institute for Bioindustry Manufacturing Innovation in collaboration with Dr. John Dye of the U.S. Army. A collaborator with Dr. Jimmy Gorihar’s Institute of Infectious Diseases Medicine (USAMRIID) and Houston Methodist, Penn State University, and the University of Texas at Austin are looking for alternative ways to measure virus neutralization (VN) titers. I did. These titers are the gold standard for COVID-19 antibody testing as a VN. It has been shown to correlate with the level of immunity in the blood.

According to researchers, this type of antibody test is technically complex and takes days to set up, run, and interpret, making it not widely available. Therefore, the team turned to an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or another type of test called ELISA.

According to Gollihar, ELISA is a standard quantitative test used to measure the amount of antibody against a particular antigen in a particular sample.

“ELISA is a standard assay that can be performed in almost any academic or medical laboratory,” says Gollihar. “This is important in emergency medical centers treating critically ill patients. This assay can also be used for serological monitoring of disease.”

Specifically, scientists investigated the relationship between anti-spike external domain (ECD) and anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibody titers in the bloodstream. Spike ECD and RBD proteins are components of the topical spike protein produced by SARS-CoV-2 and are important for how the virus enters the body, spreads and causes COVID-19 disease.

Gollihar’s specific role is to coordinate plasma sample delivery from Houston Methodists, scale antigen production and purification, and set up a collaboration with USAMRIID for live virus neutralization testing under biocontaining conditions. Was included. He also helped move the ELISA assay to the Houston Methodist automation team. Dye and his team performed a neutralization assay on all specimens in the USAMRIID Biosafety Level 3 Lab.

Army researchers collaborate on COVID-19 universal antibody testing

Army researchers Laura Prugar (blue mask), Kathleen Huie (printing mask), Nicole Josleyn (purple mask) used SARS-CoV- in convalescent patients using a microneutralizing assay and a high-throughput fluorescence imaging system. Determine the level of neutralizing antibody against 2. Credits: John W. Braun Jr., USAMRIID VIO

Their study determined that the relative amount of antibody in the bloodstream of COVID-19 patients was associated with their ability to control viral infections. In essence, the more severe the disease, the higher the level of neutralizing antibodies present. This information provides a potential benchmark for clinical products for convalescent plasma therapy research. It can also be used to assess how well a vaccinated person responds to a subsequent infection.

Researchers have found that the ELISA test has an 80% or greater probability of predicting a VN titer above the level recommended by the Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

“Overall, we found that high-titer Elisa correlates well with viral neutralization and can be used as a surrogate for screening convalescent plasma,” said Gollihar.

In addition, researchers found that convalescent donors maintained high levels of immunity for weeks, and frequent plasma donations did not cause a significant reduction in antibody or virus neutralization levels. did.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 27 individuals were identified from the surveillance cohort and showed that their antibody titers were high enough that some asymptomatic individuals had plasma suitable for therapeutic use, SARS- It indicates that there may be some relative immunity to CoV-2. ..

“This collaboration between the Army, Houston Methodists, and academia partners demonstrates an incredible variety of complementary features that can be deployed to respond to a pandemic,” Dye said. I will.

The team’s findings appear in a paper entitled “Convalescent Plasma Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein External Domain and Receptor-Binding Domain IgG Correlates with Virus Neutralization.” Clinical Research Journal..


Research takes us one step closer to the universal antibody test for COVID-19


For more information:
Eric Salazar et al, Convalescent Plasma Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein External Domain and Receptor Binding Domain IgG Correlates with Virus Neutralization, Clinical Research Journal (2020). DOI: 10.1172 / JCI141206

Quote: Researchers obtained COVID-19 (2020, October 14, 2020) from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2020-10-collaborate-universal-antibody-covid-.html on October 14, 2020. ) Cooperate in universal antibody testing

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