How To Accelerate SARS-CoV‑2 Biomarker Discovery?
As the world is struggling through a global pandemic, the pressure on academia to produce high-quality COVID-19 research is mounting. In the context of a healthcare system overstretch and tremendous societal impact, there is still no established curative treatment. There is also much to be learned about biomarkers that predict adverse outcomes, assist in patient management, and inform us about long-term post-COVID-19 consequences.
In short: We know very little and the pressure to learn more is huge.
As a scientist in the SARS-CoV‑2 field, you’ve probably experienced the need to produce fast, accurate, and publication-ready research first hand. In this article, we’ll show you how protein arrays can optimize your process, fast-tracking discovery and meaningful scientific contribution.
COVID-19 Research: What We Have Yet to Learn
In the wake of the SARS-CoV‑2 outbreak, the scientific community faced unprecedented societal and media attention. Terms like “PCR testing” or “mRNA vaccine” became buzzwords, while people around the world placed their hope in researchers to figure out the virus and how we can beat it.
The current pandemic is a unique opportunity for researchers to make an immediate and crucially needed difference in patient lives. And there is plenty to be learned.
When it comes to the 2019-nCoV infection, we have had very little time for research and much of the early findings came from studies in China. It is then crucial for scientists worldwide to engage in COVID-19 research to observe the different biological patterns across geographical and ethnic backgrounds.
Biomarkers for Prediction, Classification, and Risk Stratification
What happens when a person contracts COVID-19?
Clinically, around 80% of patients are either asymptomatic or present with a mild form. However, about one in ten people will suffer from severe symptoms and require hospital admission. Knowing which patients are most at risk will not only improve outcomes but provide crucial planning support to an already overstretched healthcare system.
COVID-19 biomarker discovery opportunities include exploring parameters that correlate with:
- Disease progression
- Severity of symptoms
- Need for hospitalization
- Likelihood of developing post-COVID issues
We already have a body of research, suggesting inflammatory, haematologic, and biochemical biomarkers associated with severe COVID-19. (Danwang et al., 2020) Further, exploring this topic can lead to discovering new diagnosis and monitoring biomarkers, as well as treatment targets for medication that lowers the risk of negative patient outcomes.
Exploring COVID-19 Relationships
Most COVID-19 patients recover from the acute phase, but we still have a long way to go toward understanding the long-term consequences of the disease. You can use biomarker research to learn about:
SARS-CoV‑2 and Autoimmunity
Experience shows that medication used for autoimmune diseases also has a place in the COVID treatment protocol. It seems that the virus shares multiple clinical features, immune mechanisms and pathogenic responses with rheumatological diseases.
COVID-19 is highly suspected to trigger autoimmunity, inducing new-onset of diseases like Guillain-Barré syndrome or antiphospholipid syndrome. (Dotan et al., 2021)
Testing autoantibody reactions is one of the chief applications of our protein arrays. Not only can this help you achieve significant results faster, but it’s also an area of research where conclusions will have a direct impact on patient journeys.
The Brain on COVID-19
While public discussion has been focused on the immediate respiratory consequences of COVID-19 (which cause most hospital admissions), mounting evidence demonstrates the neurological impact of the disease. COVID-19-related neurological disease affects the whole neuraxis. (Paterson et al., 2020) From encephalopathies to peripheral neurological disorders (including Guillain-Barré syndrome), the brain-related effects of the disease are yet to be studied thoroughly.
According to the German Neurology Foundation (DGN), 87% of neuro-consequences of COVID-19 have persistent symptoms. Further research is crucial to explore the mechanisms and guide treatment. And there is already an emerging body of studies, such as Prof. Dr Harald Prüß at Charité Berlin’s work in identifying antibodies against nerve cells. (Franke et al., 2021)
Our protein arrays can speed up biomarker discovery by helping you to screen for over 10,000 interactions in a single experiment.
How Protein Arrays Optimize COVID-19 Research
In the context of a global pandemic, the challenges faced by academia and industry are even more acute. You want to produce accurate, repeatable, relevant results and you want to do it in a timely manner. When it comes to COVID-19, sample scarcity can also be an issue. Here is why our biomarker discovery service with protein arrays is your best fit solution:
- Fast discovery with an array consisting of over 10,000 antigens. Rather than testing for interactions one by one, you can extract comprehensive information from a single experiment.
- Unbiased study where proteins aren’t selected based on hypothesis. For novel diseases like COVID-19, this allows breakthrough discoveries.
- Increased chance for decisive results and full access to your data.
- Only 50 µl needed for an analysis. If your COVID-19 patient samples are scarce, protein array analysis is the most efficient way to study them. All we need is a few µl, and we can send back whatever is left after the experiment.
- Human samples for distinguishing SARS-CoV‑2 available from our partner in.vent Diagnostica GmbH: broad product range including early-stage distinction panels and risk group panels
Additional anti-SARS-CoV‑2 Antibody Screening
We also offer more conventional testing (for the presence or absence of the virus) to help in sample pre-selection. All listed SARS-CoV‑2 measuring systems have been tested by ourselves and your samples will be sent to our fully equipped ISO 9001 & 13485 certified laboratory. We only need 5–10 µl per determination, and we’re happy to do double determination, too, if you need it.
Following serum/plasma analyses for anti-SARS-CoV‑2 antibodies are possible:
- Nucleocapsid IgM, IgA, IgG
- Spike S1 IgG
- Nucelocapsid, total-Spike (S1/S2 Ectodomain) IgA
- Total-Spike (S1/S2 Ectodomain) IgG
- Nucelocapsid, total-Spike (S1/S2 Ectodomain) IgM
- Neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV‑2 Antibodies
Start Your SARS-CoV‑2 Project!
COVID-19 research comes with a set of challenges that the scientific community has rarely faced before. We are facing a global pandemic, dealing with an infectious disease while grappling to understand its far-reaching, multi-system effects. As a researcher in the biomedical field, you’re likely already feeling the pressure to deliver high-quality, repeatable, publication-ready results and do so faster than ever. Protein arrays help you explore your COVID-19 samples in the most efficient way possible. With our biomarker discovery service you can not only test for 10,000+ antigens at once, but we’ll only need a few µl to run the experiments, and we’ll gladly collaborate in sample pre-selection.
Are you ready to start making a difference in COVID-19 research? Let’s talk about how we can help with your samples.
- Danwang, C., Endomba, F.T., Nkeck, J.R. et al. A meta-analysis of potential biomarkers associated with severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Biomark Res 8, 37 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40364-020–00217‑0
- Dotan, A., Muller, S., Kanduc, D., David, P., Halpert, G., & Shoenfeld, Y. (2021). The SARS-CoV‑2 as an instrumental trigger of autoimmunity. Autoimmunity reviews, 20(4), 102792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2021.102792
- Paterson, R. W. et al. The emerging spectrum of COVID-19 neurology: clinical, radiological and laboratory findings. Brain 143, 3104–3120 (2020) DOI: 10.1093/brain/awaa240
- Franke, C. et al. High frequency of cerebrospinal fluid autoantibodies in COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 93, 415–419 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.12.022