Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible. Early and rapid testing is necessary to effectively prevent and control the outbreak. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies with lateral flow immunoassay can achieve this goal. Antibody detection is especially effective for the detection of asymptomatic infection.
Methods: In this study, SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein was expressed by E. coli and purified by affinity chromatography. We used the highly stable and sensitive selenium nanoparticle as the labeling probe coupled with the SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein to prepare a new SARS-CoV-2 antibody (IgM and IgG) detection kit. The sensitivity and specificity of the kit were verified by plasma of COVID-19 patients and health persons. Separate detection of IgM and IgG, such as in this assay, was performed in order to reduce mutual interference and improve the accuracy of the test results.
Results: The SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein was purified on a nickel column, and the final purity was greater than 90%. The sensitivity of the kit was 94.74% and the specificity was 95.12% by 41 negative plasma samples and 19 positive plasma samples detection.
Conclusions: The assay kit does not require any special device for reading the results and the readout is a simple color change that can be evaluated with the naked eye. This kit is suitable for rapid and real-time detection of the SARS-CoV-2 antibody.