Multiplexed Detection and Quantification of Human Antibody Response to COVID-19 Infection Using a Plasmon Enhanced Biosensor Platform
The 2019 SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the need for rapid and accurate tests to diagnose acute infection and immune response to infection. A multiplexed assay built on grating-coupled fluorescent plasmonics (GC-FP) was shown to have 100% selectivity and sensitivity (n = 23) when measuring serum IgG levels against three COVID-19 antigens (spike S1, spike S1S2, and the nucleocapsid protein). The entire assay takes less than 30 min, making it highly competitive with
... d ELISA and immunofluorescence assays. GC-FP is quantitative over a large dynamic range, providing a linear response for serum titers ranging from 1:25 to 1:1,600, and shows high correlation with both ELISA and a Luminex-based microsphere immunoassay (MIA) (Pearson r > 0.9). Compatibility testing with dried blood spot samples (n = 63) demonstrated 100% selectivity and 86.7% sensitivity. A machine learning (ML) model was trained to classify dried blood spot samples for prior COVID-19 infection status, based on the combined antibody response to S1, S1S2, and Nuc antigens. The ML model yielded 100% selectivity and 80% sensitivity and demonstrated a higher stringency than diagnosis with a single antibody-antigen response. The platform is flexible and will readily accommodate IgG, IgM, and IgA. Further, the assay uses sub-nanogram quantities of capture ligand and is thus readily modified to include additional antigens, which is shown by the addition of RBD in later iterations of the test. The combination of rapid, multiplexed, and quantitative detection for both blood serum and dried blood spot samples makes GC-FP an attractive approach for COVID-19 antibody testing.