Asmaa Hachim, Niloufar Kavian, Carolyn Cohen, Sophie Valkenburg and their team at HKU-Pasteur Research Pole signed a major publication this week on the identification of viral targets of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2: Beyond the Spike: identification of viral targets of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients.
In this paper, the authors studied the landscape of the antibody responses to SARS-COV-2 in COVID-19 patients. They found that the Nucleoprotein, along with 2 newly described antigenic targets ORF8 and ORF3b, are immune-dominant and trigger specific humoral responses compared to other SARS-CoV-2 antigenic targets.
Also, these antigenic targets show high performances in the detection of all COVID-19 patients of the cohort even at early time-points, whilst the Spike protein does not. This study has many important implications for serology assays, vaccine development along with the understanding of the COVID-19 pathology.