Vol.44  「Worry about the effectiveness of vaccines against variants? Vaccine effectiveness can be tested by a drop of blood 」

Last Updated 24 June 2022. Cellspect Co., Ltd.

SARS-CoV-2 is quickly evolving from wild-type to many variants and spreading around the globe, many people worry about whether the protection of the vaccine is sufficient? Are various types of vaccines providing protection? How many booster shots shall we take?


In this regard, a research team from Taiwan recently developed a "high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 variant virus protein chip", which can measure the antibody responses and surrogate neutralizing activities against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants with just a drop of blood. The protein chip is used to analyze the immune response of patients with mild and severe Covid-19. By detecting and analyzing the immune characteristics of patients, it can assist in diagnosis and preventive medicine administration. Moreover, it can even suggest if a booster shot is needed. These two research results were recently published in the journals "Biosensors and Bioelectronics" and "Analytical Chemistry".

 

The leader of the research team pointed out that because the current vaccine is designed for the original virus strain, the effect against the variants is not clear, and people's responses to the vaccine also vary, prompting the team to develop a test for multiple virus variants.

 

The fingertip-sized assay chip uses different spike proteins from SARS-CoV-2 variants to construct a protein microarray. It takes only about one hour to analyze the "neutralization efficacy" and "antibody concentration" against the SARS-CoV-2 in the blood. This detection technology can simulate the combination of various viruses and receptors on the chip, which has the advantages of saving samples, saving time, saving money and analyzing multiple variants at the same time. The simplified experimental process can also ensure the safety of operators. The test can also compare the effectiveness of different COVID-19 vaccines, such as adenovirus vaccines and mRNA vaccines. For example, in their study, they found that vaccination with AstraZeneca increased serum IgG and IgA, while vaccination with mRNA vaccines increased serum IgG and IgM.

 

From a clinical standpoint, the ability to perform multiple tests simultaneously with a small amount of blood seems like a dream come true. This protein chip detection technology can bring more convenience to small clinics, telemedicine or home care. At the same time, with the rise of personalized medicine, consumers' curiosity and demand for their own health data have greatly increased, and being able to detect their own antibody protection will be more helpful for the judgment of future vaccinations. It is believed that this technology can also be used in more applications in the future to benefit more people.

 References:​​

  1. Tzong-ShiannHo et al., May 15, 2022, “Development of SARS-CoV-2 variant protein microarray for profiling humoral immunity in vaccinated subjects”. Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

  2. Wen-Yu Su et al., April 20, 2022, “Antibody Profiling in COVID-19 Patients with Different Severities by Using Spike Variant Protein Microarrays”. Analytical Chemistry.

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