Cross-validation of ELISA and a portable surface plasmon resonance instrument for IgG antibody serology with SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals†
We report on the development of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors and matching ELISAs for the detection of nucleocapsid and spike antibodies specific against the novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) in human serum, plasma and dried blood spots (DBS). When exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the immune system responds by expressing antibodies at levels that can be detected and monitored to identify the fraction of the population potentially immunized against SARS-CoV-2 and support efforts to deploy a vaccine strategically. A SPR sensor coated with a peptide monolayer and functionalized with various sources of SARS-CoV-2 recombinant proteins expressed in different cell lines detected human anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in clinical samples. Nucleocapsid expressed in different cell lines did not significantly change the sensitivity of the assays, whereas the use of a CHO cell line to express spike ectodomain led to excellent performance. This bioassay was performed on a portable SPR instrument capable of measuring 4 biological samples within 30 minutes of sample/sensor contact and the chip could be regenerated at least 9 times. Multi-site validation was then performed with in-house and commercial ELISA, which revealed excellent cross-correlations with Pearson's coefficients exceeding 0.85 in all cases, for measurements in DBS and plasma. This strategy paves the way to point-of-care and rapid testing for antibodies in the context of viral infection and vaccine efficacy monitoring.