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Pandemic Preparedness Capabilities

Multi-disease serology

PI(s)/Head responsible for the resource:

Peter Nilsson

Host organisation(s):

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Resource description:

High-throughput serology analysis is important for evaluating the serostatus and potential immunity of the population. The information provided can both monitor the spread of a disease and aid in making informed decisions regarding efficient societal restrictions and vaccination strategies. A critical concern for performing high-throughput serology, especially during a pandemic, is continuous access to the required reagents.

During spring 2020, a highly performing, high-throughput and multiplex SARS-CoV-2 serology assay was in short time developed by a multidisciplinary team from KTH and SciLifeLab, also involving multiple actors within public, commercial, and healthcare sectors. The fast development of this new platform was enabled through combining already established protein production expertise and workflows at KTH, IT expertise at SciLifeLab, and the existing infrastructure of the Autoimmunity and Serology Profiling Facility. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the assay was used to analyse more than 250,000 plasma and serum samples within several research efforts. The current workflow covers the analysis pipeline from plasma or serum sample processing to data analysis and generation of multiplex serological profiles against SARS-CoV-2. All viral proteins are produced in house, which enables a flexible adaptation of the pipeline to new versions of the virus as well as entirely new infectious agents.

How this resource can be used for Pandemic Preparedness research:

Each pandemic and epidemic, currently as in the past, has presented as a public health emergency characterised by uncertainty in the entity of its effect. A key point of pandemic preparedness is therefore to be able to learn from the past by collecting as much virological and immunological data as possible on viruses causing diseases with pandemic potential. Comparative serological studies and serological surveillance are well needed in order to understand the extent and duration of the immune response in COVID-19 and future pandemics.

The resource is now expanding the serology workflow to cover many more antigens representing a long range of respiratory and infectious diseases, aiming to enable the analysis of thousands of samples on hundreds of antigens. See the multi-disease serology dashboard for more information on the latest work.

Who is able to access the resource (and under what conditions):

The resource is available to both academia and industry through the Autoimmunity and Serology Profiling Unit at SciLifeLab. Applicants can submit a project proposal through the unit website to initiate discussion on feasibility and fees.

Available data, code, and protocols from the resource:

The SARS-CoV-2 serology data is summarised in a dashboard at the Swedish Pathogens Portal. A second dashboard has also been established to summarise work on multi-disease serology testing.

SOPs, guidelines, publications, etc. describing the resource:

The method for SARS-CoV-2 serology is available at DOI: 10.1002/cti2.1312. Instructions for sample preparation are provided during the project feasibility discussion with the Autoimmunity and Serology Profiling Unit.

The protein production is done at the KTH node of Protein Production Sweden (PPS), a national research infrastructure funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Contact information:

Autoimmunity Profiling