Proteome-wide analysis of differentially-expressed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in early COVID-19 infection
Rapid and accurate tests that detect IgM and IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 proteins are essential in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by identifying patients who are infected with COVID-19. Using a SARS-CoV-2 proteome microarray developed in our lab, we comprehensively profiled both IgM and IgG antibodies in forty patients with early-stage COVID-19, influenza, or non-influenza who had similar symptoms. The results revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 N protein is not an ideal biomarker for COVID-19 diagnosis because of its low immunogenicity, thus tests that rely on this marker alone will have a high false negative rate. Our data further suggest that the S protein subunit 1 receptor binding domain (S1-RBD) might be the optimal antigen for IgM antibody detection, while the S protein extracellular domain (S1+S2ECD) would be the optimal antigen for both IgM and IgG antibody detection. Notably, the combination of all IgM and IgG biomarkers can identify 87% and 73.3% COVID-19 patients, respectively. Finally, the COVID-19-specific antibodies are significantly correlated with the clinical indices of viral infection and acute myocardial injury (p[≤]0.05). Our data may help understand the function of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and improve serology tests for rapid COVID-19 screening.
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