The emergence of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has challenged the world to rapidly develop testing infrastructure in an unprecedented way. Part of the need for testing is to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The reasons why serological testing is important are numerous: determining the infection fatality rate, identifying potential donors of convalescent plasma, understanding whether previous infection confers immunity, among others. Many SARS-CoV-2 antibody test kits have entered the market but some have unfortunately underperformed with regard to sensitivity and specificity.
Immunoassays are ideal for addressing the need for effective SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. These tests, known as Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assays (ELISAs), are widely used and trusted by research and diagnostic laboratories around the world. They demonstrate high sensitivity and specificity for the target analyte which is essential to having a meaningful impact on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Performing ELISA testing manually opens the possibility for human error and can increase the turnaround time for crucial results, especially considering the current need to process large numbers of antibody testing samples. For this reason, Namida Lab has developed an automated system for high-throughput processing of thousands of serology samples per day to meet the testing demand of employer and large population studies. The system utilizes the Hamilton Microlab® STARplus and integrated devices to fully automate a commercially available anti-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA.