Competitive SARS-CoV-2 Serology Reveals Most Antibodies Targeting the Spike Receptor-Binding Domain Compete for ACE2 Binding

James R ByrnesJames A Wells


As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread around the world, there is an urgent need for new assay formats to characterize the humoral response to infection. Here, we present an efficient, competitive serological assay that can simultaneously determine an individual's seroreactivity against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and determine the proportion of anti-Spike antibodies that block interaction with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) required for viral entry. In this approach based on the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), we present natively folded viral Spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD)-containing antigens via avidin-biotin interactions. Sera are then competed with soluble ACE2-Fc, or with a higher-affinity variant thereof, to determine the proportion of ACE2 blocking anti-RBD antibodies. Assessment of sera from 144 SARS-CoV-2 patients ultimately revealed that a remarkably consistent and high proportion of antibodies in the anti-RBD pool targeted the epitope responsible for ACE2 engagement (83% ± 11%; 50% to 107% signal inhibition in our largest cohort), further underscoring the importance of tailoring vaccines to promote the development of such ...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays
reverse transcription-PCR

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