A haemagglutination test for rapid detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

Alain Townsend, Pramila Rijal, Julie Xiao, Tiong Kit Tan, Kuan-Ying A Huang, Lisa Schimanski, Jiandong Huo, Nimesh Gupta, Rolle Rahikainen, Philippa C Matthews, Derrick Crook, Sarah Hoosdally, Susanna Dunachie, Eleanor Barnes, Teresa Street, Christopher P Conlon, John Frater, Carolina V Arancibia-Cárcamo, Justine Rudkin, Nicole StoesserFredrik Karpe, Matthew Neville, Rutger Ploeg, Marta Oliveira, David J Roberts, Abigail A Lamikanra, Hoi Pat Tsang, Abbie Bown, Richard Vipond, Alexander J Mentzer, Julian C Knight, Andrew J Kwok, Gavin R Screaton, Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, Wanwisa Dejnirattisai, Piyada Supasa, Paul Klenerman, Christina Dold, J Kenneth Baillie, Shona C Moore, Peter J M Openshaw, Malcolm G Semple, Lance C W Turtle, Mark Ainsworth, Alice Allcock, Sally Beer, Sagida Bibi, Donal Skelly, Lizzy Stafford, Katie Jeffrey, Denise O'Donnell, Elizabeth Clutterbuck, Alexis Espinosa, Maria Mendoza, Dominique Georgiou, Teresa Lockett, Jose Martinez, Elena Perez, Veronica Gallardo Sanchez, Giuseppe Scozzafava, Alberto Sobrinodiaz, Hannah Thraves, Etienne Joly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Serological detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is essential for establishing rates of seroconversion in populations, and for seeking evidence for a level of antibody that may be protective against COVID-19 disease. Several high-performance commercial tests have been described, but these require centralised laboratory facilities that are comparatively expensive, and therefore not available universally. Red cell agglutination tests do not require special equipment, are read by eye, have short development times, low cost and can be applied at the Point of Care. Here we describe a quantitative Haemagglutination test (HAT) for the detection of antibodies to the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The HAT has a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 99% for detection of antibodies after a PCR diagnosed infection. We will supply aliquots of the test reagent sufficient for ten thousand test wells free of charge to qualified research groups anywhere in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'A haemagglutination test for rapid detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this