There remains an urgent need for assays to quantify humoral protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 to understand the immune responses of COVID-19 patients, evaluate efficacy of vaccine candidates in clinical trials, and conduct large-scale epidemiological studies. The plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT) is the reference-standard for quantifying antibodies capable of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2. However, the PRNT is logistically demanding, time-consuming, and requires containment level-3 facilities to safely work with live virus. In contrast, a surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) manufactured by Genscript is a quick and simple assay that detects antibodies that inhibit the RBD-ACE2 interaction, crucial for virus entry into host cells. In this study, we evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and cross-reactivity of the sVNT compared with the PRNT using both 50% and 90% SARS-CoV-2 neutralization as a reference-standard. We found that the sVNT provides a high-throughput screening tool prior to confirmatory PRNT testing for the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.
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