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Rapid Gel Card Agglutination Assays for Serological Analysis Following SARS-CoV‑2 Infection in Humans

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journal contribution
posted on 16.07.2020 by Diana Alves, Rodrigo Curvello, Edward Henderson, Vidhishri Kesarwani, Julia A. Walker, Samuel C. Leguizamon, Heather McLiesh, Vikram Singh Raghuwanshi, Hajar Samadian, Erica M. Wood, Zoe K. McQuilten, Maryza Graham, Megan Wieringa, Tony M. Korman, Timothy F. Scott, Mark M. Banaszak Holl, Gil Garnier, Simon R. Corrie
High-throughput and rapid serology assays to detect the antibody response specific to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human blood samples are urgently required to improve our understanding of the effects of COVID-19 across the world. Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need. Assays developed to address these needs should match the ASSURED criteria. We have identified agglutination tests based on the commonly employed blood typing methods as a viable option. These blood typing tests are employed in hospitals worldwide, are high-throughput, fast (10–30 min), and automated in most cases. Herein, we describe the application of agglutination assays to SARS-CoV-2 serology testing by combining column agglutination testing with peptide–antibody bioconjugates, which facilitate red cell cross-linking only in the presence of plasma containing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This simple, rapid, and easily scalable approach has immediate application in SARS-CoV-2 serological testing and is a useful platform for assay development beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.