Validation of a SARS-CoV-2 Surrogate Neutralization Test Detecting Neutralizing Antibodies against the Major Variants of Concern

Eveline Santos da Silva, Jean-Yves Servais, Michel Kohnen, Vic Arendt, Therese Staub, Report Consortium The CoVaLux Consortium, Report Consortium The CoVaLux Consortium, Rejko Krüger, Guy Fagherazzi, Paul Wilmes, Judith M Hübschen, Markus Ollert, Danielle Perez-Bercoff (Main author), Carole Seguin-Devaux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination elicit a broad range of neutralizing antibody responses against the different variants of concern (VOC). We established a new variant-adapted surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) and assessed the neutralization activity against the ancestral B.1 (WT) and VOC Delta, Omicron BA.1, BA.2, and BA.5. Analytical performances were compared against the respective VOC to the reference virus neutralization test (VNT) and two CE-IVD labeled kits using three different cohorts collected during the COVID-19 waves. Correlation analyses showed moderate to strong correlation for Omicron sub-variants (Spearman’s r = 0.7081 for BA.1, r = 0.7205 for BA.2, and r = 0.6042 for BA.5), and for WT (r = 0.8458) and Delta-sVNT (r = 0.8158), respectively. Comparison of the WT-sVNT performance with two CE-IVD kits, the “Icosagen SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody ELISA kit” and the “Genscript cPass, kit” revealed an overall good correlation ranging from 0.8673 to −0.8773 and a midway profile between both commercial kits with 87.76% sensitivity and 90.48% clinical specificity. The BA.2-sVNT performance was similar to the BA.2 Genscript test. Finally, a correlation analysis revealed a strong association (r = 0.8583) between BA.5-sVNT and VNT sVNT using a double-vaccinated cohort (n = 100) and an Omicron-breakthrough infection cohort (n = 91). In conclusion, the sVNT allows for the efficient prediction of immune protection against the various VOCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14965
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2023


  • immunity
  • neutralizing antibodies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • vaccines
  • viral neutralization assay


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