A novel high throughput assay to measure plasma NEUTRalizing Activity against SARS-CoV-2 against SARS-CoV-2

  • PerezBercoff, Danielle (PI)

Project Details


There is currently is no vaccine and no specific antiviral agent against coronaviruses. Existing antiviral drugs against other viruses are being repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients as best we can. In many countries including Luxembourg, hospitals might face a shortage in medication on top of hospital saturation and economic lockdown. Therefore alternative treatment options are urgently needed and many efforts are being deployed to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new Coronavirus causing COVID-19. Nevertheless, little is known on immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and on the efficacy and persistance of the antibody response. Passive immunization of patients with severe or critical COVID-19 using the plasma from recovered patients (plasmapheresis) is one approach considered to test COVID-19 patients. It has been used in the past to treat other lethal viral infections such as SARS, Flu, Ebola. Clinical protocols of plasmapheresis to treat COVID-19 are being launched in the US, in France and at Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL).
This project aims to develop a high througput assay to measure the neutralizing activity of plasma and antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. It will be used in the short term to assist CHL by identifying plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients with high neutralizing activity for plasmapheresis. It will also be used to identify which antibodies have neutralizing activity, thereby providing a rationale to predict patient outcome. On the mid-long term, it will be used to follow the effectiveness, duration and waning of neutralizing antibodies in patients recovered from COVID-19 and in vaccinated individuals when a vaccine becomes available. Additionally, it can be used to screan for entry inhibitors, such as Hydrodychlorquine, Lopinavir/ritonavir or novel compounds. It will thus be a useful tool for projects in the COVID-19 Task Force.
Effective start/end date1/06/2030/11/20


  • FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche: €50,000.00
  • Rotary Clubs de Luxembourg: €30,000.00


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