Kinetic analysis of de novo autoreactivity in severe COVID-19 reveals important implications for early intervention and treatment in patients with post-COVID sequelae.
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was first declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30, 2020, and upgraded to pandemic status just five weeks later. This instigated an unprecedented mobilization of resources and research efforts towards treating and preventing COVID-19 infection.
Early characterization of severe COVID-19 disease suggested immune responses were not only responsible for viral clearance, but possibly contributed to disease pathology. This was corroborated by clinical manifestations in COVID-19 patients similar to autoimmune features, including the presence of autoreactive antibodies.
To date, there have been over 633 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 6.6 million deaths. While infection and mortality rates have since fallen, experts agree COVID isn’t going anywhere, and continued research is key in keeping up with the evolution of this virus. A recent publication by Woodruff et al. in Nature further investigated the presence and role of de novo autoreactive antibodies in COVID-19 and their implication in disease pathogenesis.
A key component of this study was the use of Nicoya’s Alto, the world’s first digital SPR instrument, to characterize the binding kinetics of monoclonal antibodies with identified autoreactivity to SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. Below, we summarize the study’s findings and Alto’s role in the researchers’ workflow.