Mapping sars-cov-2 antibody epitopes in covid-19 patients with a multi-coronavirus protein microarray

David Camerini, Arlo Z. Randall, Krista Trappl-Kimmons, Amit Oberai, Christopher Hung, Joshua Edgar, Adam Shandling, Vu Huynh, Andy A. Teng, Gary Hermanson, Jozelyn V. Pablo, Megan M. Stumpf, Sandra N. Lester, Jennifer Harcourt, Azaibi Tamin, Mohammed Rasheed, Natalie J. Thornburg, Panayampalli S. Satheshkumar, Xiaowu Liang, Richard B. KennedyAngela Yee, ichael Townsend, Joseph J. Campo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has accelerated research and development for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. A multi-coronavirus protein microarray was created containing full-length proteins, overlapping protein fragments of various lengths, and peptide libraries from SARS-CoV-2 and four other human coronaviruses. Sera from confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as unexposed individuals were applied to multicoronavirus arrays to identify specific antibody reactivity. High-level IgG, IgM, and IgA reactivity to structural proteins S, M, and N of SARS-CoV-2, as well as accessory proteins such as ORF3a and ORF7a, were observed that were specific to COVID-19 patients. Antibody reactivity against overlapping 100-, 50-, and 30-amino acid fragments of SARS-CoV-2 proteins was used to identify antigenic regions. Numerous proteins of SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the endemic human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 were also more reactive with IgG, IgM, and IgA in COVID-19 patient sera than in unexposed control sera, providing further evidence of immunologic cross-reactivity between these viruses. Whereas unexposed individuals had minimal reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins that poorly correlated with reactivity against HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-OC43 S2 and N proteins, COVID-19 patient sera had higher correlation between SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV responses, suggesting that de novo antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 cross-react with HCoV epitopes. Array responses were compared with validated spike protein-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), showing agreement between orthologous methods. SARS-CoV-2 microneutralization titers were low in the COVID-19 patient sera but correlated with array responses against S and N proteins. The multi-coronavirus protein microarray is a useful tool for mapping antibody reactivity in COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01416-21
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Antibody binding sites
  • COVID-19
  • HCoV
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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