Nav: Home

Rapid test for the determination of antibodies against Sars-Cov-2

July 30, 2020

To determine immunity to Sars-Cov-2 and the effectiveness of potential vaccines, the amount of neutralising antibodies in the blood of recovered or vaccinated individuals must be determined. A traditional neutralisation test usually takes two to three days and must be carried out with infectious coronaviruses in a laboratory complying to biosafety level 3. A Swiss-German research team from Bern and Bochum has launched a test that takes only 18 hours and doesn't have high biosafety requirements. The researchers have published their report in the journal Vaccines on 15 July 2020.

The test was developed at the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) of the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Animal Health, and evaluated in cooperation with colleagues from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) using serum samples from Covid-19 patients.

Disguising a harmless virus as Sars-Cov-2

In order to detect antibodies against Sars-Cov-2, the researchers used another virus that doesn't propagate. They exchanged the envelope protein of this virus for the spike protein of the novel coronavirus, which mediates virus entry and infection. "As a result, the viruses can be identified by antibodies against Sars-Cov-2," explains lead author Toni-Luise Meister from the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. "The antibodies bind to the viruses that have been altered in this way and neutralise them so that no longer can penetrate the host cells."

Luminescence helps determine immunity

Since the virus pseudotyped in this way can't propagate in host cells, no elaborate biosafety precautions are necessary for the test. In order to determine the amount of antibodies, the researchers genetically modified the virus so that green fluorescent protein and a luciferase, an enzyme from fireflies, will be produced by infected cells. "After a single round of infection, we can then determine how many cells show green fluorescence," says lead author Ferdinand Zettl from the Institute of Virology and Immunology in Bern. The green fluorescence is an indicator of infection with the pseudotyped virus. The less green cells the researchers are finding, the more neutralizing antibodies are present which blocked the virus. In addition, a luminometer may be used to read the luminescence signal produced by the luciferase enzyme - another way of evaluating the test.

Quick and reliable

In order to check the reliability and comparability with the conventional neutralisation test, the researchers applied it to blood samples from Covid-19 patients. "The direct comparison showed a good correlation between the two test systems," explains corresponding author Professor Stephanie Pfänder from the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology at RUB. Compared to 56 hours for the conventional test, the new test is much faster, with only 18 hours to the test result. "Another great advantage is that it can be carried out in almost all medical labs, because no sophisticated safety precautions are necessary," points out Dr. Gert Zimmer from the Institute of Virology and Immunology in Bern, corresponding author of the study.
-end-


Ruhr-University Bochum

Related Antibodies Articles:

More effective human antibodies possible with chicken cells
Antibodies for potential use as medicines can be made rapidly in chicken cells grown in laboratories.
X-ray experiments zero in on COVID-19 antibodies
An antibody derived from a SARS survivor in 2003 appears to effectively neutralize the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, opening the door for speedy development of a targeted treatment.
Towards antibodies against COVID-19
The lab of Xavier Saelens (VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology) announces the isolation and characterization of a unique antibody that can bind to the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
Antibodies from llamas could help in fight against COVID-19
Initial tests of a new candidate antibody treatment for COVID-19 indicate that it blocks viruses that display the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from infecting cells in culture.
Antibodies could provide new treatment for OCD
Mental health conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder could be treated in a new way using drugs that target the immune system, research suggests.
Antibodies in the brain trigger epilepsy
Certain forms of epilepsy are accompanied by inflammation of important brain regions.
Fatal overproduction of antibodies
Bone marrow plasma cells produce antibodies. These comprise two long and two short protein chains.
Antibodies: the body's own antidepressants
Antibodies can be a blessing or a curse to the brain -- it all depends on their concentration.
Antibodies gather and form a circle for defensive attack
Antibodies play a crucial role in our immune system by linking antigen recognition with complement activation for attacking foreign cells.
Hiring antibodies as nanotechnology builders
Researchers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata recruit antibodies as molecular builders to assemble nanoscale structures made of synthetic DNA.
More Antibodies News and Antibodies Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Biology Of Sex
Original broadcast date: May 8, 2020. Many of us were taught biological sex is a question of female or male, XX or XY ... but it's far more complicated. This hour, TED speakers explore what determines our sex. Guests on the show include artist Emily Quinn, journalist Molly Webster, neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, and structural biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#569 Facing Fear
What do you fear? I mean really fear? Well, ok, maybe right now that's tough. We're living in a new age and definition of fear. But what do we do about it? Eva Holland has faced her fears, including trauma and phobia. She lived to tell the tale and write a book: "Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Wubi Effect
When we think of China today, we think of a technological superpower. From Huweai and 5G to TikTok and viral social media, China is stride for stride with the United States in the world of computing. However, China's technological renaissance almost didn't happen. And for one very basic reason: The Chinese language, with its 70,000 plus characters, couldn't fit on a keyboard.  Today, we tell the story of Professor Wang Yongmin, a hard headed computer programmer who solved this puzzle and laid the foundation for the China we know today. This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler with reporting assistance from Yang Yang. Special thanks to Martin Howard. You can view his renowned collection of typewriters at: antiquetypewriters.com Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.