Since December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has been surging rapidly around the world. With the rising Covid-19 cases, humanity is facing unprecedented social, economic, and health impacts. Till a therapeutic drug is available or a majority of people get vaccinated, early and rapid diagnosis of infection is the only feasible solution for stopping the spread of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. Early diagnosis of the infection will help facilitate a rapid response from public health officials in preventing and controlling the contagious diffusion of the virus.
Identified MSD assays for Covid-19
Meso scale discovery assay(MSD) are promising assay solutions for the rapid screening and treatment of Covid-19 patients. MSD assays offer a broad spectrum of customized biomarker tests, accelerating a biomarker initiative through clinical stages of drug discovery. MSD mesoscale offers two sets of promising alternatives for Sars-CoV-2; V-Plex serology assays, and biomarker and antigen assays. Let us focus on these identified MSD assays.
V-Plex serology platform
V-Plex serology panels are assays capable of detecting antibodies against antigens of Sars-CoV-2 and its new variant. The panel contains 23 antigens arranged in serology panels. It also comprises the V-Plex Sars-CoV-2 Panel 2, a panel selected by Operation Warp Speed as standard binding assays in all clinically funded Phase III vaccine clinical trials.
V-Plex assays are focused on Sars-CoV-2 antigens. It has additional panels for circulating respiratory diseases, such as MERS, influenza, SARS-1, and RSV. The panel menu includes alternatives to measure antibodies that are responsible for blocking the binding of RBD and Spike antigens of Sars-CoV-2 to ACE2 receptors.
Most importantly, all serological panels are available as complete kits and have similar control and reference standards that were used in Operation Warp Speed clinical trials. Researchers can report assay results in international units, and reference standard 1 is calibrated with WHO International Standard.
Biomarker and antigen assays
MSD cytokine offers two direct detection formats for Sars-CoV-2; S-Plex and R-Plex. S-Plex antigen assay is an ultra-sensitive MSD assay that measures the nucleocapsid antigen of Sars-CoV-2. The clinical sensitivity of the S-Plex assay is so high that it can be compared to a highly sensitive PCR. R-Plex antibody assays detect the nucleocapsid and spike antigens of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. Researchers can use R-Plex assays in both single and multiplex format, with the option of combining with other relevant Sars-CoV-2 biomarkers. Furthermore, MSD also offers suitable biomarker panels such as inflammatory cytokines.
Today, the global scientific community is in a race for drugs and vaccines against Covid-19. Preventing and controlling the infection is challenging, as asymptomatic patients are more likely to transmit the virus among the masses. Such prevention will require long-term patient tracking and monitoring. Studies have shown the presence of Sars-CoV-2 RNA in urine and stool samples, demonstrating the need for urgent ultrasensitive diagnostic alternatives. Global efforts for Covid-19 treatment have accelerated, but that may take months or years, or even the scientific community may never succeed. Hence, promising screening solutions such as MSD biomarker assay is crucial in the fight against the pandemic.