A SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test based on antibody-mediated blockage of ACE2–spike protein–protein interaction


Corresponding authors: Danielle E. Anderson, Lin-Fa Wang

Affiliation: Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

Publication date: this article was published online on July 23, 2020

DOI:  doi.org/10.1038/s41587-020-0631-z

Highlights

The researchers developed a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test that detects total immunodominant neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain in an isotype- and species-independent manner. This simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of the interaction between the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor protein and the receptor-binding domain. The test, which has been validated with two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 in two different countries, achieves 99.93% specificity and 95–100% sensitivity, and differentiates antibody responses to several human coronaviruses.

Nomination Reasons

The scientists have addressed the challenge of COVID-19 serology with an approach that enables the detection of NAbs in an easy, safe and rapid manner with enhanced specificity and sensitivity. The surrogate virus neutralization test does not require biosafety level 3 containment, making it broadly accessible to the wider community for both research and clinical applications, which can cover many aspects of COVID-19 investigation from contact tracing, seroprevalence surveying and reservoir/intermediate animal tracking to the assessment of herd immunity and longevity of protective immunity.

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