IMMUNO-COV™ white paper submitted for peer review. Additional test details to come.


Neutralizing antibodies are key determinants of protection from future infection, yet well-validated high-throughput assays for measuring titers of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies are not generally available. Here we describe the development and validation of IMMUNO-COV™ v2.0 a scalable surrogate virus assay, which titrates antibodies that block infection of Vero-ACE2 cells by a luciferase-encoding vesicular stomatitis virus displaying SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins (VSV-SARS2-Fluc). Antibody titers, calculated using a standard curve consisting of stepped concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 spike monoclonal antibody, correlated closely (p < 0.0001) with titers obtained from a gold-standard PRNT50% assay performed using a clinical isolate of SARS-CoV-2. IMMUNO-COV™ v2.0 was comprehensively validated using data acquired from 242 assay runs performed over seven days by five analysts, utilizing two separate virus lots, and 176 blood samples. Assay performance was acceptable for clinical use in human serum and plasma based on parameters including linearity, dynamic range, limit of blank and limit of detection, dilutional linearity and parallelism, precision, clinical agreement, matrix equivalence, clinical specificity and sensitivity, and robustness. Sufficient VSV-SARS2-Fluc virus reagent has been banked to test 5 million clinical samples. Notably, a significant drop in IMMUNO-COV™ v2.0 neutralizing antibody titers was observed over a six-month period in people recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Together, our results demonstrate the feasibility and utility of IMMUNO-COV™ v2.0 for measuring SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated individuals and those recovering from natural infections. Such monitoring can be used to better understand what levels of neutralizing antibodies are required for protection from SARS-CoV-2, and what booster dosing schedules are needed to sustain vaccine-induced immunity.


IMMUNO-COVTM exhibited 98.4% sensitivity and 100% specificity in validation and verification studies. See description below for details.

What are sensitivity and specificity?

Assay sensitivity and specificity are measures of how accurately an assay discriminates between positive and negative samples. For SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing assays, sensitivity is a test’s ability to correctly identify samples with neutralizing antibodies. Specificity is a test’s ability to correctly identify samples that do not contain neutralizing antibodies. High sensitivity means fewer false negatives, while high specificity means fewer false positives.


Development and validation of IMMUNO-COV: a high-throughput clinical assay for detecting antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2

IMMUNO-COV™ Assay Sensitivity and Specificity: Based on assay validation and verification data obtained in April and May 2020

Genome Writers Guild 2020 : Development and Validation of a High-throughput Clinical Test to Detect Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies


The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy COVID-19 Symposium presentation of the development and validation of IMMUNO-COV

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