Enable Biosciences, in collaboration with the California Genetic Disease Screening Program, detailed a breakthrough in understanding maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection and its impact on newborns. 

The groundbreaking study, “Shadow of a Pandemic: Persistence of Prenatal SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Newborn Blood Spots,” published in the International Journal of Neonatal Screening, utilized Enable’s ADAP (Antibody Detection by Agglutination-PCR) assay.

This research aims to improve the understanding of how maternal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are transferred to and persist in newborns. The study involved analyzing dried blood spots from newborns for the presence of these antibodies. With 15.7% of newborns testing positive, the study provides new insights into the prevalence and longevity of maternal antibodies, highlighting a significant maternal transmission rate.

“This study is a landmark in neonatal research, offering unprecedented insights into maternal-to-neonatal antibody transfer,” says Jason Tsai, PhD, CTO of Enable Biosciences. “Our ADAP technology’s role in this research is a testament to the importance of cutting-edge diagnostic tools in enhancing public health understanding and response strategies.”

The findings also revealed higher seroprevalence rates in certain demographics, signaling the need for tailored public health strategies. Notably, maternal antibodies were detected up to 11.7 months before delivery, suggesting their extended persistence in newborns.

Further reading: New Research Sheds Light on COVID, Flu, and RSV Co-infections

In addition to this study, Enable Biosciences previously played a pivotal role in the California Department of Public Health’s statewide serosurvey, CalScope. This project, which invited over 200,000 households to participate, utilized an at-home dried blood spot testing program. The program, leveraging Enable’s ADAP technology, included detecting biochemical markers of previous COVID infection, offering an innovative approach to understanding the pandemic’s spread and impact.

The CalScope initiative represented a significant step forward in population-wide health monitoring and disease surveillance. By enabling participants to easily provide samples from the comfort of their homes, the survey overcomes traditional barriers to widespread testing. The insights gained from this large-scale effort are invaluable for public health planning and response, particularly in mapping the spread of COVID-19 and assessing community immunity levels.

Enable Biosciences’ ADAP technology seeks to also play a role in broader infectious disease surveillance and population health management.