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      A SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test based on antibody-mediated blockage of ACE2–spike protein–protein interaction

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          Abstract

          A robust serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed to determine not only the infection rate, herd immunity and predicted humoral protection, but also vaccine efficacy during clinical trials and after large-scale vaccination. The current gold standard is the conventional virus neutralization test requiring live pathogen and a biosafety level 3 laboratory. Here, we report a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test that detects total immunodominant neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain in an isotype- and species-independent manner. Our simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of the interaction between the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor protein and the receptor-binding domain. The test, which has been validated with two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 in two different countries, achieves 99.93% specificity and 95-100% sensitivity, and differentiates antibody responses to several human coronaviruses. The surrogate virus neutralization test does not require biosafety level 3 containment, making it broadly accessible to the wider community for both research and clinical applications.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Serologic evidence for the presence in Pteropus bats of a paramyxovirus related to equine morbillivirus.

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            Neutralization synergy of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 primary isolates by cocktails of broadly neutralizing antibodies.

            Several reports have described the existence of synergy between neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Synergy between human MAbs b12, 2G12, 2F5, and 4E10 in neutralization of primary isolates is of particular interest. Neutralization synergy of these MAbs, however, has not been studied extensively, and the mechanism of synergy remains unclear. We investigated neutralization synergy among this human antibody set by using the classical approach of titrating antibodies mixed at a fixed ratio as well as by an alternative, variable ratio approach in which the neutralization curve of one MAb is assessed in the presence and absence of a fixed, weakly neutralizing concentration of a second antibody. The advantage of this second approach is that it does not require mathematical analysis to establish synergy. No neutralization enhancement of any of the MAb combinations tested was detected for the T-cell-line-adapted molecular HIV-1 clone HxB2 using both assay formats. Studies of primary isolates (89.6, SF162, and JR-CSF) showed neutralization synergy which was relatively weak, with a maximum of two- to fourfold enhancement between antibody pairs, thereby increasing neutralization titers about 10-fold in triple and quadruple antibody combinations. Analysis of b12 and 2G12 binding to oligomeric envelope glycoprotein by using flow cytometry failed to demonstrate cooperativity in binding between these two antibodies. The mechanism by which these antibodies synergize is, therefore, not yet understood. The results lend some support to the notion that an HIV-1 vaccine that elicits moderate neutralizing antibodies to multiple epitopes may be more effective than hereto supposed, although considerable caution in extrapolating to a vaccine situation is required.
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              Experimental Infection and Response to Rechallenge of Alpacas with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

              We conducted a challenge/rechallenge trial in which 3 alpacas were infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The alpacas shed virus at challenge but were refractory to further shedding at rechallenge on day 21. The trial indicates that alpacas may be suitable models for infection and shedding dynamics of this virus.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Biotechnology
                Nat Biotechnol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1087-0156
                1546-1696
                July 23 2020
                Article
                10.1038/s41587-020-0631-z
                32704169
                © 2020

                Free to read

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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