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Biosens Bioelectron ; 209: 114226, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767929


Protein sensors based on allosteric enzymes responding to target binding with rapid changes in enzymatic activity are potential tools for homogeneous assays. However, a high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) is difficult to achieve in their construction. A high S/N is critical to discriminate signals from the background, a phenomenon that might largely vary among serum samples from different individuals. Herein, based on the modularized luciferase NanoLuc, we designed a novel biosensor called NanoSwitch. This sensor allows direct detection of antibodies in 1 µl serum in 45 min without washing steps. In the detection of Flag and HA antibodies, NanoSwitches respond to antibodies with S/N ratios of 33-fold and 42-fold, respectively. Further, we constructed a NanoSwitch for detecting SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, which showed over 200-fold S/N in serum samples. High S/N was achieved by a new working model, combining the turn-off of the sensor with human serum albumin and turn-on with a specific antibody. Also, we constructed NanoSwitches for detecting antibodies against the core protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and gp41 of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Interestingly, these sensors demonstrated a high S/N and good performance in the assays of clinical samples; this was partly attributed to the combination of off-and-on models. In summary, we provide a novel type of protein sensor and a working model that potentially guides new sensor design with better performance.

Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Luciferases , SARS-CoV-2
J Infect Dis ; 222(2): 189-193, 2020 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-643587


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel ß-coronavirus, causes severe pneumonia and has spread throughout the globe rapidly. The disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection is named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To date, real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the only test able to confirm this infection. However, the accuracy of RT-PCR depends on several factors; variations in these factors might significantly lower the sensitivity of detection. METHODS: In this study, we developed a peptide-based luminescent immunoassay that detected immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgM. The assay cutoff value was determined by evaluating the sera from healthy and infected patients for pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: To evaluate assay performance, we detected IgG and IgM in the sera from confirmed patients. The positive rate of IgG and IgM was 71.4% and 57.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, combining our immunoassay with real-time RT-PCR might enhance the diagnostic accuracy of COVID-19.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunoenzyme Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Luminescent Measurements , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Peptides/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Proteins/immunology