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The prevalence and strength of serological responses mounted toward SARS-CoV-2 proteins other than nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S), which may be of use as additional serological markers, remains underexplored. Using high-content microscopy to assess antibody responses against full-length StrepTagged SARS-CoV-2 proteins, we found that 85% (166/196) of unvaccinated individuals with RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and 74% (31/42) of individuals infected after being vaccinated developed detectable IgG against the structural protein M, which is higher than previous estimates. Compared with N antibodies, M IgG displayed a shallower time-dependent decay and greater specificity. Sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was enhanced when N and M IgG detection was combined. These findings indicate that screening for M seroconversion may be a good approach for detecting additional vaccine breakthrough infections and highlight the potential to use HCM as a rapidly deployable method to identify the most immunogenic targets of newly emergent pathogens.

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Journal article



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School of Bioscience, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


PITCH Consortium