A rapid and efficient screening system for neutralizing antibodies and its application for SARS-CoV-2

Xiaojian HanAishun Jin


After the epidemic of COVID-19, neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against SARS-CoV-2 has been developed for the preventative and therapeutic purposes. However, few methodologies are reported in detail on how to rapidly and efficiently generate NAbs of interest. Here, we present a strategically optimized screening method for NAbs, which has enabled us to obtain SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) specific monoclonal Abs within 4 days, followed by additional 2 days to evaluate their neutralizing activities. Using this method, we obtained 198 specific Abs against SARS-CoV-2 RBD from the blood samples of COVID-19 convalescent patients, and 96 of them showed neutralizing activity. At least 20% of these NAbs exhibited high neutralizing potency. The top 2 NAbs showed the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) to block authentic SARS-CoV-2 at 9.88 and 11.13 ng/ml, respectively. Altogether, our study provides a fundamental methodology for discovering NAbs with potential preventative and therapeutic value for emerging infectious diseases.

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