multiSero: open multiplex-ELISA platform for analyzing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection

medRxiv. 2021 May 11;2021.05.07.21249238. doi: 10.1101/2021.05.07.21249238. Preprint


Serology has provided valuable diagnostic and epidemiological data on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in diverse patient cohorts. Deployment of high content, multiplex serology platforms across the world, including in low and medium income countries, can accelerate longitudinal epidemiological surveys. Here we report multiSero, an open platform to enable multiplex serology with up to 48 antigens in a 96-well format. The platform consists of three components: ELISA-array of printed proteins, a commercial or home-built plate reader, and modular python software for automated analysis (pysero). We validate the platform by comparing antibody titers against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike, receptor binding domain (RBD), and nucleocapsid (N) in 114 sera from COVID-19 positive individuals and 87 pre-pandemic COVID-19 negative sera. We report data with both a commercial plate reader and an inexpensive, open plate reader (nautilus). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of classification with single antigens shows that Spike and RBD classify positive and negative sera with the highest sensitivity at a given specificity. The platform distinguished positive sera from negative sera when the reactivity of the sera was equivalent to the binding of 1 ng mL âˆ'1 RBD-specific monoclonal antibody. We developed normalization and classification methods to pool antibody responses from multiple antigens and multiple experiments. Our results demonstrate a performant and accessible pipeline for multiplexed ELISA ready for multiple applications, including serosurveillance, identification of viral proteins that elicit antibody responses, differential diagnosis of circulating pathogens, and immune responses to vaccines.

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  • Preprint