Global COVID-19 Situation
As of 31 March 2021
Source:World Health Organization
Currently there are no known safe and effective treatments for the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. The lack of effective treatments means that vaccines are the only way to end the devastating impact of the pandemic. Fortunately, several different types of vaccines have already been developed against SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD binds to ACE2 to infect host cells. Studies have shown that neutralizing antibodies which act mainly against S-RBD can prevent SARS-CoV-2 RBD from binding with ACE2. Vaccines can stimulate the immune system to generate neutralizing antibodies. The degree of protection given by these vaccines, or by prior infection, could be proven by detecting neutralizing antibodies.
Identifying neutralizing antibodies may help indicate
The immune response induced by natural infection and vaccines (post vaccination).
The significance for vaccine receivers to know the real immune response before being vaccinated. It makes sense for the government to reasonably distribute the vaccines to the populations at higher risks, like healthcare workers.
Why use immunoassay
The conventional approach is to carry out a Virus Neutralization Test (VNT).
High biosafety requirements
Very limited lab resources and high cost
The drawbacks of VNT mean that immunoassays are critical for evaluating vaccines, both in clinical trials and as part of national immunization programs.
We can effectively deduce the result of a VNT by carrying out a Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT).
Chemiluminescent immunoassay is a reliable choice for monitoring vaccine efficacy
Immunoassay can detect antibodies
Protective antibodies only constitute 1%-3% of the total antibodies in circulation (IgGs)
The table below illustrates the differences in immunoassay technologies
|Attributes||EIA||Automatic chemiluminescent IA (Mindray)|
|Sensitivity (antibodies not missed)||low||high|
|Specificity (not incorrectly identified)||moderate||good|
|Time to first results||hours||30-50 mins|
|Throughput||Low (50 tests/hr)||High (up to 480 tests/hr)|
Mindray S-RBD IgG Antibodies Design
Where RBD is located
The spike protein consists of two domains, S1 and S2, which are responsible for binding.
The S1 domain contains the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein which is involved in host cell receptor recognition and binding, while the S2 domain contains the putative fusion peptide as well as the heptad repeat HR1 and HR2.
S-RBD IgG antibodies test is designed to reflect the protection mechanism in vivo
It can specifically detec neutralizing antibodies