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Application of volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS) to measure multidimensional anti-influenza IgG antibodies by the mPlex-Flu assay

Introduction: Recently, volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS) has been used for accurate sampling of a fixed peripheral blood volume (10 µL) on a volumetric swab, and long-term sample storage. The mPlex-Flu assay is a novel, high-throughput assay that simultaneously measures the concentration of antibodies against the hemagglutinin (HA) proteins from multiple influenza virus strains with ≤5 µL of serum. Here we describe combining these two methods to measure multidimensional anti-influenza IgG activity in whole blood samples collected by a finger stick and VAMS, with correction for serum volume based on simultaneous hemoglobin measurement. Methods: We compared capillary blood samples obtained from a finger stick using a VAMS device with serum samples collected by traditional phlebotomy from 20 subjects, with the influenza antibody profiles measured by the mPlex-Flu assay. Results: We found that results with the two sampling methods were highly correlated within subjects and across all influenza strains (mean R 2 = 0.9470). Adjustment for serum volume, based on hemaglobin measurement, was used to estimate serum volume of samples and improved the accuracy. IgG measurements were stable over 3 weeks when VAMS samples were stored at room temperature or transported using a variety of shipping methods. Additionally, when volunteers performed finger-stick VAMS at-home by themselves, the comparison results of anti-HA antibody concentrations were highly consistent with sampling performed by study personnel on-site (R 2 = 0.9496). Conclusions: This novel approach can provide a simple, accurate, and low-cost means for monitoring the IgG anti-influenza HA antibody responses in large population studies and clinical trials.

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