A new coronavirus antibody testkit can provide faster results than existing kits, which can measure the intensity of the immune response to COVID-19 or the new coronavirus vaccine,media BGR reported. CPass testing can look for neutralizing antibodies, i.e. antisomeg glycoproteins that bind to SARS-CoV-2 and render them inactive. The trial has been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been approved for use in the European Union and Singapore.
Recent studies have shown that new crown antibodies may disappear from the blood stream within two to three months of infection. People will still be protected because the immune response is more complex than that. White blood cells, called T cells, will be able to participate in the virus and help produce new antibodies in the future. But if the test doesn’t detect antibodies after three months, officials who want to track disease and measure group immunity won’t be able to get accurate results from the current test. This is where the breakthrough coronavirus test works because it is specifically designed to quickly return the results of certain types of antibodies, which actually measurethe the intensity of your immune response to COVID-19.
Neutralizing antibodies is a protein that binds to the stingy glycoprotein of the new coronavirus. As a result, the virus cannot be connected to ace2 receptors on human cells and cannot enter human cells. Without this step, the virus can be copied, it is basically neutralized, will not cause any harm. That’s why vaccine manufacturers want to use their experimental drugs to induce neutralizing antibodies. It is also why monoclonal antibodies are based on neutralizing antibodies of drugs that can block the virus. Similarly, plasma therapy relies on the transfer of neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to patients with weak immune responses.
Researchers at GenScript Biotechnology have come up with a test that looks for general antibodies, unlike other antibody tests used outside. Instead, the method only detects neutralizing antibodies in the patient’s blood. This test is much faster than a traditional antibody test, and provides an answer in an hour compared to a few days. And this result does not require the use of live viruses and biosecurity isolation to test.
The company published a study in the journal Nature explaining how the test works. The test, known as cPass, was used in two groups of patients in Singapore and China, with 375 and 250 subjects, respectively. The study compared traditional cell and virus-based testing tests (cVNT) with new alternative virus neutralizing trials (sVNT) and found that the sensitivity of the latter (cPass trial) to detect neutralizing antibodies in patients was 95%-100% and 99.93% specific.
The researchers also showed that even with low levels of IgG and IgM antibodies in patients, the cPass test detected significant levels of neutrality and activity. If confirmed by future tests, this could be a huge deal for antibody testing, which can be used to see if COVID-19 is developing and antibodies can be used to measure a community’s immunity after an outbreak or vaccination campaign.
“As long as you have a small amount of neutralizing antibodies, patients may still be immune to the virus,” Eric Wang of GenScript told Forbes.
The scientists explained that cPass uses a different detection principle. “Instead of testing the antibodies themselves, we check if there are any substances in the blood that block the virus (the stingy glycoprotein) that binds to the hACE2 receptor son of human cells,” Eric said. “This is a functional test specifically designed to find neutralizing antibodies.”
The company also noted in its announcement that the results of two SARS serum panels showed that neutralizing antibodies could be detected 17 years after the initial infection, which is promising news. This is not to say that SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies will last that long, but the cPass test is also effective for other pathogens. The company said the cPass SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody testing kit is applying to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The test kit is approved for use in the European Union and is provisionally authorized in Singapore.