Video Abstract (AI generated) (01:16)PaperPreprint
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions of people worldwide. PCR tests are currently the gold standard for diagnosis of the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and serology tests are used to detect seroconversion in infected patients. However, there is a lack of quantitative and ultra-sensitive viral antigen tests for COVID-19. Here we show that Single Molecule Array (Simoa) assays can quantitatively detect SARS-CoV-2 spike, S1 subunit, and nucleocapsid antigens in the plasma of COVID-19 patients. Combined with Simoa anti-SARS-CoV-2 serological assays, we show correlation between production of antibodies and clearance of viral antigens from serial plasma samples from COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of viral antigens in blood correlates with disease severity in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens in the blood could be a marker for severe COVID-19 cases.