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  • MALDI-ToF protein profiling as a potential rapid diagnostic platform for COVID-19.

MALDI-ToF protein profiling as a potential rapid diagnostic platform for COVID-19.

Journal of mass spectrometry and advances in the clinical lab (2021-09-15)
Prajkta Chivte, Zane LaCasse, Venkata Devesh R Seethi, Pratool Bharti, Joshua Bland, Shrihari S Kadkol, Elizabeth R Gaillard
ABSTRACT

More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, the need still exists for accurate, rapid, inexpensive and non-invasive diagnostic methods that yield high specificity and sensitivity towards the current and newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains. Compared to the nasopharyngeal swabs, several studies have established saliva as a more amenable specimen type for early detection of SARS-CoV-2. Considering the limitations and high demand for COVID-19 testing, we employed MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry in the analysis of 60 gargle samples from human donors and compared the resultant spectra against COVID-19 status. Several standards, including isolated human serum immunoglobulins, and controls, such as pre-COVID-19 saliva and heat inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus, were simultaneously analyzed to provide a relative view of the saliva and viral proteome as they would appear in this workflow. Five potential biomarker peaks were established that demonstrated high concordance with COVID-19 positive individuals. Overall, the agreement of these results with RT-qPCR testing on nasopharyngeal swabs was ≥90% for the studied cohort, which consisted of young and largely asymptomatic student athletes. From a clinical standpoint, the results from this pilot study suggest that MALDI-ToF could be used to develop a relatively rapid and inexpensive COVID-19 assay.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
IgA from human serum, reagent grade, ≥95% (HPLC), buffered aqueous solution
Sigma-Aldrich
α-Amylase from human saliva, Type XIII-A, lyophilized powder, 300-1,500 units/mg protein
Sigma-Aldrich
IgM from human serum, reagent grade, ~95% (HPLC), buffered aqueous solution
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IgG from human serum, reagent grade, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), essentially salt-free, lyophilized powder