Multiple platforms and novel technologies have been created over the past three years to aid Canadian clinical and research efforts in monitoring immune responses to SARS-CoV-2.
In the hopes of creating a more accurate and highly informative diagnostic test, CITF-funded investigator Dr. Andrei Drabovich (University of Alberta) and colleagues have designed and evaluated the performance of novel serological assays to measure the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in blood and saliva. Their study is published in Analytical Chemistry.
In a preprint, not yet peer-reviewed, CITF-funded researchers developed a novel approach to detect SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. The ratio-based approach had a 95.2% sensitivity among both previously vaccinated and previously infected donors compared with 63.3% for the conventional approach.
A CITF-funded study, led by Drs. Brian Grunau and David Goldfarb and Pascal Lavoie (University of British Columbia), and Sheila O’Brien and Steven Drews of Canadian Blood Services, and published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, tested the sensitivity of the Roche anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid assay.
A recent CITF-funded study published in the Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine by Drs. Marco Marra, Steven Jones and Marc Romney (University of British Columbia) demonstrates an optimized workflow for high-throughput whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 samples.
A letter published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection reported that either a nasopharyngeal swab or an oral rinse is able to detect the Omicron variant in those who were infected, even if the amount of virus detectable by the former is ten times greater than the latter.
In a study now published in Microbiology Spectrum, a team of Vancouver investigators, led by Dr. Agatha Jassem of the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) and partially funded by the CITF, demonstrated that dried blood spot (DBS) testing should be considered reliable in detecting SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity acquired from both natural infection and vaccination.
A study published in PLOS ONE by CITF-funded researcher Dr. Michael D. Grant, of Memorial University of Newfoundland, concludes that antibody testing is required in order to establish an accurate count of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community.
Many Canadian serosurveys have opted to use dried blood spot (DBS) tests as a practical means to study population-level SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence.
In a paper now published in Clinical and Translational Immunology, a team of Canadian researchers partly funded by the CITF and led by Drs. Anne-Claude Gingras from Toronto’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Marc-André Langlois from the University of Ottawa, and Yves Durocher from the National Research Council of Canada, has developed a set of standardized, high-throughput serological assays to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.