Detection of neutralizing antibodies against multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains in dried blood spots using cell-free PCR

Kenneth Danh, Donna Grace Karp, Malvika Singhal, Akshaya Tankasala, David Gebhart, Felipe de Jesus Cortez, Devangkumar Tandel, Peter V. Robinson, David Seftel, Mars Stone, Graham Simmons, Anil Bagri, Martin A. Schreiber, Andreas Buser, Andreas Holbro, Manuel Battegay, Mary Kate Morris, Carl Hanson, John R. Mills, Dane GrangerElitza S. Theel, James R. Stubbs, Laurence M. Corash, Cheng ting Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An easily implementable serological assay to accurately detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibodies is urgently needed to better track herd immunity, vaccine efficacy and vaccination rates. Herein, we report the Split-Oligonucleotide Neighboring Inhibition Assay (SONIA) which uses real-time qPCR to measure the ability of neutralizing antibodies to block binding between DNA-barcoded viral spike protein subunit 1 and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor protein. The SONIA neutralizing antibody assay using finger-prick dried blood spots displays 91–97% sensitivity and 100% specificity in comparison to the live-virus neutralization assays using matched serum specimens for multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants-of-concern. The multiplex version of this neutralizing antibody assay, using easily collectable finger-prick dried blood spots, can be a valuable tool to help reveal the impact of age, pre-existing health conditions, waning immunity, different vaccination schemes and the emergence of new variants-of-concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4212
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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