Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent blood using a coronavirus antigen microarray

Rafael R. de Assis, Aarti Jain, Rie Nakajima, Algis Jasinskas, Jiin Felgner, Joshua M. Obiero, Philip J. Norris, Mars Stone, Graham Simmons, Anil Bagri, Johannes Irsch, Martin Schreiber, Andreas Buser, Andreas Holbro, Manuel Battegay, Philip Hosimer, Charles Noesen, Oluwasanmi Adenaiye, Sheldon Tai, Filbert HongDonald K. Milton, D. Huw Davies, Paul Contestable, Laurence M. Corash, Michael P. Busch, Philip L. Felgner, Saahir Khan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    64 Scopus citations


    The current practice for diagnosis of COVID-19, based on SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of pharyngeal or respiratory specimens in a symptomatic patient at high epidemiologic risk, likely underestimates the true prevalence of infection. Serologic methods can more accurately estimate the disease burden by detecting infections missed by the limited testing performed to date. Here, we describe the validation of a coronavirus antigen microarray containing immunologically significant antigens from SARS-CoV-2, in addition to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, common human coronavirus strains, and other common respiratory viruses. A comparison of antibody profiles detected on the array from control sera collected prior to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic versus convalescent blood specimens from virologically confirmed COVID-19 cases demonstrates near complete discrimination of these two groups, with improved performance from use of antigen combinations that include both spike protein and nucleoprotein. This array can be used as a diagnostic tool, as an epidemiologic tool to more accurately estimate the disease burden of COVID-19, and as a research tool to correlate antibody responses with clinical outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number6
    JournalNature communications
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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