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Microbiol Spectr ; : e0156421, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622004


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 created a crucial need for serology assays to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which led to many serology assays entering the market. A trans-government collaboration was created in April 2020 to independently evaluate the performance of commercial SARS-CoV-2 serology assays and help inform U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory decisions. To assess assay performance, three evaluation panels with similar antibody titer distributions were assembled. Each panel consisted of 110 samples with positive (n = 30) serum samples with a wide range of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and negative (n = 80) plasma and/or serum samples that were collected before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each sample was characterized for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies against the spike protein using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Samples were selected for the panel when there was agreement on seropositivity by laboratories at National Cancer Institute's Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (NCI-FNLCR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The sensitivity and specificity of each assay were assessed to determine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) suitability. As of January 8, 2021, results from 91 evaluations were made publicly available (, and Sensitivity ranged from 27% to 100% for IgG (n = 81), from 10% to 100% for IgM (n = 74), and from 73% to 100% for total or pan-immunoglobulins (n = 5). The combined specificity ranged from 58% to 100% (n = 91). Approximately one-third (n = 27) of the assays evaluated are now authorized by FDA for emergency use. This collaboration established a framework for assay performance evaluation that could be used for future outbreaks and could serve as a model for other technologies. IMPORTANCE The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic created a crucial need for accurate serology assays to evaluate seroprevalence and antiviral immune responses. The initial flood of serology assays entering the market with inadequate performance emphasized the need for independent evaluation of commercial SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays using performance evaluation panels to determine suitability for use under EUA. Through a government-wide collaborative network, 91 commercial SARS-CoV-2 serology assay evaluations were performed. Three evaluation panels with similar overall antibody titer distributions were assembled to evaluate performance. Nearly one-third of the assays evaluated met acceptable performance recommendations, and two assays had EUAs revoked and were removed from the U.S. market based on inadequate performance. Data for all serology assays evaluated are available at the FDA and CDC websites (, and

Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0141621, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495015


The rapid worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated research and development for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray was created containing full-length proteins, overlapping protein fragments of various lengths, and peptide libraries from SARS-CoV-2 and four other human coronaviruses. Sera from confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as unexposed individuals were applied to multicoronavirus arrays to identify specific antibody reactivity. High-level IgG, IgM, and IgA reactivity to structural proteins S, M, and N of SARS-CoV-2, as well as accessory proteins such as ORF3a and ORF7a, were observed that were specific to COVID-19 patients. Antibody reactivity against overlapping 100-, 50-, and 30-amino acid fragments of SARS-CoV-2 proteins was used to identify antigenic regions. Numerous proteins of SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the endemic human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 were also more reactive with IgG, IgM, and IgA in COVID-19 patient sera than in unexposed control sera, providing further evidence of immunologic cross-reactivity between these viruses. Whereas unexposed individuals had minimal reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins that poorly correlated with reactivity against HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 S2 and N proteins, COVID-19 patient sera had higher correlation between SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV responses, suggesting that de novo antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 cross-react with HCoV epitopes. Array responses were compared with validated spike protein-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), showing agreement between orthologous methods. SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers were low in the COVID-19 patient sera but correlated with array responses against S and N proteins. The multi-coronavirus protein microarray is a useful tool for mapping antibody reactivity in COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE With novel mutant SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern on the rise, knowledge of immune specificities against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is increasingly important for understanding the impact of structural changes in antibody-reactive protein epitopes on naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity, as well as broader topics of cross-reactivity and viral evolution. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray used to map the binding of COVID-19 patient antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins and protein fragments as well as to the proteins of four other coronaviruses that infect humans has shown specific regions of SARS-CoV-2 proteins that are highly reactive with patient antibodies and revealed cross-reactivity of these antibodies with other human coronaviruses. These data and the multi-coronavirus protein microarray tool will help guide further studies of the antibody response to COVID-19 and to vaccination against this worldwide pandemic.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Array Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viroporin Proteins/immunology
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12330, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265968


SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019 and has since spread around the world, causing a pandemic of the respiratory disease COVID-19. Detecting antibodies against the virus is an essential tool for tracking infections and developing vaccines. Such tests, primarily utilizing the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) principle, can be either qualitative (reporting positive/negative results) or quantitative (reporting a value representing the quantity of specific antibodies). Quantitation is vital for determining stability or decline of antibody titers in convalescence, efficacy of different vaccination regimens, and detection of asymptomatic infections. Quantitation typically requires two-step ELISA testing, in which samples are first screened in a qualitative assay and positive samples are subsequently analyzed as a dilution series. To overcome the throughput limitations of this approach, we developed a simpler and faster system that is highly automatable and achieves quantitation in a single-dilution screening format with sensitivity and specificity comparable to those of ELISA.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/economics , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/economics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology