Development of Ultrasensitive Diagnostic Tests and Tools for Understanding the Host Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Using the Simoa technology pioneered in our lab, we are working to address diagnostic gaps in the COVID-19 pandemic and develop predictive measures of disease progression as well as protective immunity. We have recently developed ultrasensitive serological assays to enable detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection at early stages and profiling of the host immune response over time. These SARS-CoV-2 serological Simoa assays are currently being used to understand antibody levels in convalescent patients and in vaccine development trials. We have further developed viral antigen Simoa assays to enable ultrasensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in COVID-19 patient plasma and saliva. High levels of viral antigen in plasma are correlated with disease severity in hospitalized patients. These SARS-CoV-2 antigen assays are currently being used to explore the pathology of respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Current COVID-19 research efforts include antibody testing of healthcare workers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, antigen detection in saliva for diagnostics, and profiling the immune and viral responses in COVID-19 patients.