Research press release


Nature Medicine

Immunology: A method to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

患者の血液中に存在する抗SARS-CoV-2ウイルス抗体を検出する方法が、Nature Medicineに報告された。この方法は16人の患者で検証されており、SARS-CoV-2に対する抗体が血漿中に含まれる患者を特定するのに役立ちそうだ。また、抗SARS-CoV-2抗体は他の患者の治療に使えるかもしれない。


F Krammerたちは、SARS-CoV-2に対する抗体の存在を調べるのに使える酵素結合免疫吸着検定法を開発した。この測定法のために、Krammerたちはウイルスの表面に見られるスパイクタンパク質を使って2つのタンパク質を構築した。スパイクタンパク質は宿主細胞への侵入に関わっていて、他のコロナウイルス感染では抗体の標的となっている。構築体の1つ目は、スパイクタンパク質全体を含むタンパク質で、2つめは受容体結合ドメイン(スパイクタンパク質の一部分)だけを含んでいる。



A test that can detect the presence of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the blood of human patients is described in Nature Medicine. This assay, tested in 16 patients, may help to identify individuals whose plasma contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which could potentially be used to treat other patients.

Tests that detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA are widely used to diagnose COVID-19. However, assays that can measure the presence of antibodies to the virus may potentially help determine the rate of infection in a population.

Florian Krammer and colleagues report the development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which can be used to detect the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. For the assay, the authors created two versions of the spike protein found on the surface of the virus. The spike protein mediates entry into host cells and is targeted by antibodies during other coronavirus infections. The first version encompassed the full spike protein, while the second was limited to the receptor-binding domain (a smaller section of the spike protein).

Using 16 plasma and serum samples (fluid components of the blood) from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections, the authors observed that all of the samples produced a positive result to both versions of the spike protein in the assay. In general, the authors found that a stronger reaction was observed against the full-length spike protein, which may suggest a greater number of antibody-binding sites on the larger protein. In tests involving 50 serum samples collected from participants prior to the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 (negative controls), they found very low or no reactivity to the proteins in the assay.

The authors note that their assay is relatively quick and simple to carry out and does not involve handling the live virus. However, they caution that samples from patients with SARS-CoV-1 or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome CoV were not included in the research, so it is not known whether antibodies to these viruses would also produce a positive result. Further research with larger sample sizes will also be needed.

doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-0913-5

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