Beckman Institute of Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine announces that they have completed first in a series of antibody neutralization studies with SARS-CoS-1. Beckman Coulter, a medical diagnostics expert, announced on February 25, 2020 that their antibody neutralization test detects high levels of the viral SARS virus. Their findings are published in the Journal of the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
According to the report, the sero-conjugation assay works by attaching a piece of a SARS virus' genetic material to an antigen. After this, the antigen can be challenged by exposing the area to different strains of the SARS virus, and the antibody-antigen cross-reacts with the virus's outer coat. This allows scientists to determine if the antibody has been cross-reacted with any SARS virus and to measure the level of viral replication.
"The antibody-antigen cross-reaction is actually done in the human sera by the cross-linking of an antibody with another antigens in the SARS virus," said Dr. Robert Beckman, president and chief executive officer of Beckman. "The next step is the analysis of whether or not the antibody has been cross-reacted by any of the SARS viruses." According to the study, the antibodies that have cross-linked with the virus's outer shell are the ones that have been neutralized by Beckman's sero-conjugation assay. "This was the first time that our test could tell us about cross-reactive antibodies," added Dr. Beckman.
The results of the Beckman Institute's study were used to validate and improve the sero-conjugation assays that are currently available. This test will soon be approved by the FDA and used in clinical laboratories to help identify high-level cross-reactive antibodies that may be associated with SARS.
"The zero-conjugation assay is the perfect method for identifying cross-reactive antibodies in SARS patients," said Dr. David W. Beckman, MD, associate professor and chief of pathology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We know that antibodies can cause a strong cross-reaction with SARS viruses. so it is important to be able to identify these antibodies in SARS patients. The challenge test will provide useful information to physicians and virologists. and scientists in the field so they can develop drugs for the treatment of SARS."
Sero-Conjugation Assay is an anti-viral procedure using anti-gene cassettes to measure antibody binding to virus and neutralizing antibodies. Seroproteinase inhibitors have been in use since the late 1970s but cannot always neutralize antibodies that cross-react with the virus. Because antibodies are secreted by cells, antibodies can also bind to a host's own protein fragments. Antibodies can also react with host DNA, causing it to mutate. By combining the cross-reactivity of the SARS virus with a cross-reactive antibody, researchers may be able to determine if antibodies can cause a cross-reaction or if the virus itself is causing a cross-reactivity and therefore can help identify antibodies that can be neutralized or modified.