Immunology Solutions for Coronavirus Research


Understanding viral host-pathogen interaction and host immune responses are critical in viral disease diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine research. COVID-19 has a wide clinical spectrum of disease and it is paramount to understand the differences that occur in the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. While some individuals are asymptomatic, others present with severe disease that appears to be mediated by an exacerbated inflammatory response and cytokine storms. To improve clinical outcomes and prevent death, host responses to coronavirus disease need to be better understood.

To aid coronavirus immune response research, Bio-Rad provides multiple solutions from cytokine profiling and immunophenotyping through to antibody solutions, and protein profiling.

Profile Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19 Disease


A promising route to characterize the diverse immune response to coronavirus infection across populations — from asymptomatic carriers to severe disease — is by comprehensive immunophenotyping. Immunophenotypes vary greatly between individuals and may provide clues as to the type of immune response that confers protection and help inform vaccine development. Flow cytometry with labeled antibodies is the unrivaled technique for immunophenotyping patient samples.

Flow Cytometry Analysis for COVID-19 Research and Vaccine Development

ZE5 Cell Analyzer

Profile virus- and vaccine-induced immune responses with the ZE5 Cell Analyzer.

  • High-parametric immunophenotyping
  • Rapid discovery of neutralizing antibodies
  • Detection of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cytokine receptors
View ZE5 Cell Analyzer

Antibodies to Study the Immune Response and Inflammation

In severe COVID-19 disease, a dysfunctional immune response occurs with an exacerbated pulmonary and systemic inflammatory response.

Antibodies for Immune Cell Characterization in COVID-19 Infection

Bio-Rad Antibodies provide complete solutions to profile immune responses to COVID-19 infection with thousands of highly-cited antibodies against targets available in Bio-Rad’s immunology and inflammation portfolio and the ability to provide custom recombinant monoclonal antibody generation in just 8 weeks.

Cytokine Profiling

Understanding cytokine and chemokine profiles can assist in the identification of biomarkers of severe COVID-19 disease and provide insight into the immune response between different populations. The Bio-Plex Multiplex Immunoassay System enables the quantification of the production of cytokines and chemokines from serum or other samples. A recent publication in The Lancet (Huang C et al. 2020) utilized this system to describe the clinical features of patients infected with COVID-19.

Bio-Plex Pro Human Serology Assays

With COVID-19 having variable effects on different individuals, knowing the true infection rates in populations can be skewed, with a significant percentage of asymptomatic individuals or those with mild symptoms not being counted. Simultaneous antibody response profiling against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid, receptor-binding domain, spike 1, and spike 2 viral proteins can be useful in seroprevalence studies, and to understand the overall immune response to natural infection. Get qualitative results for all of these four proteins in one well with a fast multiplex immunoassay that only requires ~5 µl of sample. It is also a useful tool for institutions developing vaccines to determine efficacy from preclinical through to clinical trials.

  • Determine population infection rates through seroprevalence studies
  • Monitor the antibody response over time to understand the longevity of humoral immunity against COVID-19

View Assays


Other Bio-Plex Immunoassays

Assays for over 450 biologically relevant targets are available as ready-to-use premixed multiplex panels and singleplex sets, or in custom-mixed panels. Bio-Plex beads and coupling kit enable you to develop new assays for novel targets.


Host-Cell-Virus Protein Interactions

Identifying key interactions that are essential for SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication will help determine factors essential for SARS-CoV-2 survival and aid in the identification of effective antiviral drugs. Electrophoresis and blotting are preeminent tools for characterization of viral interactions with host proteins, such as cell receptors mediating viral entry and replication. Our complete workflow solution for protein detection and quantitation features proprietary stain-free protein gels and imaging systems, which can provide data in as little as 30 minutes.

Viral Protein Profiling Publications

Ou X et al. Characterization of Spike Glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 on Virus Entry and Its Immune Cross-Reactivity with SARS-CoV. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):1620. PMCID: PMC7100515, PMID: 32221306, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15562-9

Tai W et al. Characterization of the Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD) of 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Implication for Development of RBD Protein as a Viral Attachment Inhibitor and Vaccine. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020;1‐8. PMCID: PMC7091888, PMID: 32203189, DOI: 10.1038/s41423-020-0400-4

Lu L et al. Immunological Characterization of the Spike Protein of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. J Clin Microbiol. 2004;42(4):1570‐1576. PMCID: PMC387621, PMID: 15071006, DOI: 10.1128/JCM.42.4.1570-1576.2004

Antibodies to Characterize Immune Response

Antibodies for Immunoglobulin Detection in COVID-19 Infection

The detection of IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies appears to be a sensitive approach to characterize the immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Bio-Rad offers a wide selection of anti-human IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies in a variety of formats including full-length antibodies, Fab fragments, purified, cross-adsorbed, and serum.

Learn More about IgA, IgG, and IgM Antibodies

Rapid Custom Antibody Generation with HuCAL® Technology

Grid of a custom antibody with HuCal Technology

Overcome challenges with generating reliable, custom antibodies for developing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostic tests. Get highly specialized antibodies for coronavirus research and diagnostic testing with custom HuCAL recombinant antibody generation services from Bio-Rad:

  • Fab antibodies against your target antigens in as little as 8 weeks
  • Conversion to fully human IgG and IgM serological control antibodies
  • Well-characterized, reproduced indefinitely
  • Does not rely on animal immunization methods
Get Customized Antibodies

* Legal Notice:

These products and/or their use are covered by claims of U.S. patents, and/or pending U.S. and non-U.S. patent applications owned by or under license to Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. Purchase of a product includes a limited, non-transferable right under such intellectual property for use of the product for internal research and diagnostic purposes only. No rights are granted for use of a product for commercial applications of any kind, including but not limited to manufacturing, quality control, or commercial services, such as contract services or fee for services. Information concerning a license for such uses can be obtained from Bio-Rad Laboratories. It is the responsibility of the purchaser/end user to acquire any additional intellectual property rights that may be required.

Kits and reagents are sold for research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.