Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (NY, USA) have developed a serological test that is capable of detecting antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. In an article, published in Current Protocols in Microbiology, the authors outline a step-by-step protocol describing the antibody test in enough detail for other researchers to replicate in their own laboratories.
As the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues, testing remains a global priority. At present, the majority of tests are capable of detecting specific viral nucleic acids from SARS-CoV-2 during the acute stages of infection. It is becoming increasingly important to develop an understanding of the antibody response mounted as a result of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection.
In an attempt to provide answers regarding the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify individuals potentially immune to re-infection, researchers based at the Icahn School of Medicine have developed a serological test. The published research published in Current Protocols in Microbiology describes in depth a protocol for the expression of antigens derived from the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. The expressed antigens can then be used as a substrate in immunological assays, including the two-stage serological ELISA described by the authors.
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It is hoped that the use of serological tests such as these will contribute to the overall understanding of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Serological tests will be a also play a crucial role in pandemic response and tracking, as a tool to identify individuals who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Source: Stadlbauer D, Amanat F, Chromikova V et al. SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans: a detailed protocol for a serological assay, antigen production and test setup. Curr. Protoc. Microbiol. doi:10.1002/cpmc.100 (2020)(Epub ahead of print); https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/covid-19/researchers-develop-breakthrough-antibody-test-covid-19-virus