Detection and Quantification of Antibody to SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Binding Domain Provides Enhanced Sensitivity, Specificity and Utility



Tedder, Richard, Parker, Eleanor, Sureda-Vives, Macià, Fernandez, Natalia, Randell, Paul, Marchesin, Federica, Katsanovskaja, Ksenia, Harvey, Ruth, Lilley, Alice, Harris, Benjamin HL
et al (show 27 more authors) (2021) Detection and Quantification of Antibody to SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Binding Domain Provides Enhanced Sensitivity, Specificity and Utility.

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Abstract

Background: Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity.<br><br>Methods: The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA) provides the most sensitive format. It has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing an S1 solid-phase preferentially presenting RBD once solid-phase bound, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay.<br><br>Findings: This assay showed a specificity of 100% on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6% on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralisation and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. The early response at presentation with illness, elevated responsiveness with disease severity, detection of asymptomatic seroconversion and persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP) are all documented.<br><br>Trial Registration: The ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study was registered at https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN66726260 and designated an Urgent Public Health Research Study by NIHR.<br><br>Interpretation: The hybrid DABA displays the attributes necessary for an antibody test to be used in both clinical and reference serology. It allows the neutralising antibody response to be inferred early in infection and potentially in vaccine recipients. It is also of sufficient sensitivity to be used to provide serological confirmation of prior infection and provides a more secure measure for seroprevalence studies in the population generally than does anti-NP based on the Architect platform.<br><br>Funding: This work is variously supported by grants from: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR; award CO-CIN-01), the Medical Research Council (MRC; grant MC_PC_19059 and MC_PC_19078), MRC NIHR (grant CV220-111) and by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford (award 200907), NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London with PHE (award 200927), Wellcome Trust and Department for International Development (DID; 215091/Z/18/Z), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1209135), Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (grant reference C18616/A25153), NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Imperial College London (IS-BRC-1215-20013), EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics (PREPARE; FP7 project 602525), and NIHR Clinical Research Network for providing infrastructure support for this research.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: RST, MOM and PC report patent pending (Patent Application No. 2011047.4 for “SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection assay). All other authors declare no competing interests.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: The use of tissues was approved by the CDRTB Steering Committee in accordance with the responsibility delegated by the National Research Ethics Service (South Central Ethics Committee – C, NRES reference 15/SC/0089).<br><br>Written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Ethical approval was given by the South Central–Oxford C Research Ethics Committee in England (reference: 13/SC/0149), Scotland A Research Ethics Committee (reference: 20/SS/0028) and World Health Organization Ethics Review Committee (RPC571 and RPC572l; 25 April 2013)

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 09:08
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 17:11
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3739821
Open Access URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3739821
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3117615