An easily implementable serological assay to accurately detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibodies is urgently needed to better track herd immunity, vaccine efficacy and vaccination rates. Herein, we report the Split-Oligonucleotide Neighboring Inhibition Assay (SONIA) which uses real-time qPCR to measure the ability of neutralizing antibodies to block binding between DNA-barcoded viral spike protein subunit 1 and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor protein. The SONIA neutralizing antibody assay using finger-prick dried blood spots displays 91–97% sensitivity and 100% specificity in comparison to the live-virus neutralization assays using matched serum specimens for multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants-of-concern. The multiplex version of this neutralizing antibody assay, using easily collectable finger-prick dried blood spots, can be a valuable tool to help reveal the impact of age, pre-existing health conditions, waning immunity, different vaccination schemes and the emergence of new variants-of-concern.

Fuente: Nature Communications