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J Clin Virol ; 145: 105024, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768294


BACKGROUND: After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, most recipients want to know if they are protected from infection and for how long. Since neutralizing antibodies are a correlate of protection, we developed a lateral flow assay (LFA) that measures levels of neutralizing antibodies from a drop of blood. The LFA is based on the principle that neutralizing antibodies block binding of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). METHODS: The ability of the LFA was assessed to correctly measure neutralization of sera, plasma or whole blood from patients with COVID-19 using SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization assays. We also determined if the LFA distinguished patients with seasonal respiratory viruses from patients with COVID-19. To demonstrate the usefulness of the LFA, we tested previously infected and non-infected COVID-19 vaccine recipients at baseline and after first and second vaccine doses. RESULTS: The LFA compared favorably with SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization assays with an area under the ROC curve of 98%. Sera obtained from patients with seasonal coronaviruses did not show neutralizing activity in the LFA. After a single mRNA vaccine dose, 87% of previously infected individuals demonstrated high levels of neutralizing antibodies. However, if individuals were not previously infected, only 24% demonstrated high levels of neutralizing antibodies after one vaccine dose. A second dose boosted neutralizing antibody levels just 8% higher in previously infected individuals, but over 63% higher in non-infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: A rapid, semi-quantitative, highly portable and inexpensive neutralizing antibody test might be useful for monitoring rise and fall in vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies to COVID-19.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Point-of-Care Testing , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Synthetic