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1.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266786

ABSTRACT

Serological surveillance studies of infectious diseases provide population-level estimates of infection and antibody prevalence, generating crucial insight into population-level immunity, risk factors leading to infection, and effectiveness of public health measures. These studies traditionally rely on detection of pathogen-specific antibodies in samples derived from venipuncture, an expensive and logistically challenging aspect of serological surveillance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines implemented to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection made collection of venous blood logistically difficult at a time when SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance was urgently needed. Dried blood spots (DBS) have generated interest as an alternative to venous blood for SARS-CoV-2 serological applications due to their stability, low cost, and ease of collection; DBS samples can be self-generated via fingerprick by community members and mailed at ambient temperatures. Here, we detail the development of four DBS-based SARS-CoV-2 serological methods and demonstrate their implementation in a large serological survey of community members from 12 cities in the East Bay region of the San Francisco metropolitan area using at- home DBS collection. We find that DBS perform similarly to plasma/serum in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and commercial SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. In addition, we show that DBS samples can reliably detect antibody responses months post-infection and track antibody kinetics after vaccination. Implementation of DBS enabled collection of valuable serological data from our study population to investigate changes in seroprevalence over an eight-month period. Our work makes a strong argument for the implementation of DBS in serological studies, not just for SARS-CoV-2, but any situation where phlebotomy is inaccessible.

2.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20184895

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDEfficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) to treat COVID-19 is hypothesized to be associated with the concentration of neutralizing antibodies (nAb) to SARS-CoV-2. High capacity serologic assays detecting binding antibodies (bAb) have been developed, nAb assays are not adaptable to high-throughput testing. We sought to determine the effectiveness of using surrogate bAb signal-to-cutoff ratios (S/CO) in predicting nAb titers using a pseudovirus reporter viral particle neutralization (RVPN) assay. METHODSCCP donor serum collected by 3 US blood collectors was tested with a bAb assay (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics VITROS Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Total, CoV2T) and a nAb RVPN assay. CoV2T prediction effectiveness at S/CO thresholds was evaluated for RVPN nAb NT50 titers using receiver operating characteristic analysis. RESULTS753 CCPs were tested with median CoV2T S/CO of 71.2 and median NT50 of 527.5. Proportions of CCP donors with NT50 over various target nAb titers were 86% [≥]1:80, 76% [≥]1:160, and 62%[≥]1:320. Increasing CoV2Ts reduced the sensitivity to predict NT50 titers, while specificity to identify those below thresholds increased. As the targeted NT50 increased, the positive predictive value fell with reciprocal increase in negative predictive value. S/CO thresholds were thus less able to predict target NT50 titers. CONCLUSIONSelection of a clinically effective nAb titer will impact availability of CCP. Product release with CoV2T assay S/CO thresholds must balance the risk of releasing products below target nAb titers with the cost of false negatives. A two-step testing scheme may be optimal, with nAb testing on CoV2T samples with S/COs below thresholds.

3.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-043364

ABSTRACT

The current practice for diagnosis of COVID-19, based on SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of pharyngeal or respiratory specimens in a symptomatic patient at high epidemiologic risk, likely underestimates the true prevalence of infection. Serologic methods can more accurately estimate the disease burden by detecting infections missed by the limited testing performed to date. Here, we describe the validation of a coronavirus antigen microarray containing immunologically significant antigens from SARS-CoV-2, in addition to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, common human coronavirus strains, and other common respiratory viruses. A comparison of antibody profiles detected on the array from control sera collected prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic versus convalescent blood specimens from virologically confirmed COVID-19 cases demonstrates near complete discrimination of these two groups, with improved performance from use of antigen combinations that include both spike protein and nucleoprotein. This array can be used as a diagnostic tool, as an epidemiologic tool to more accurately estimate the disease burden of COVID-19, and as a research tool to correlate antibody responses with clinical outcomes.

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