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1.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(7): e0051421, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486483

ABSTRACT

Accurate SARS-CoV-2 serological assays are critical for COVID-19 serosurveillance. However, previous studies have indicated possible cross-reactivity of these assays, including in areas where malaria is endemic. We tested 213 well-characterized prepandemic samples from Nigeria using two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays, Abbott Architect IgG and Euroimmun NCP IgG assay, both targeting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. To assess antibody binding strength, an avidity assay was performed on these samples and on plasma from SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive persons. Thirteen (6.1%) of 212 samples run on the Abbott assay and 38 (17.8%) of 213 run on the Euroimmun assay were positive. Anti-Plasmodium IgG levels were significantly higher among false positives for both Abbott and Euroimmun; no association was found with active Plasmodium falciparum infection. An avidity assay using various concentrations of urea wash in the Euroimmun assay reduced loosely bound IgG: of 37 positive/borderline prepandemic samples, 46%, 86%, 89%, and 97% became negative using 2 M, 4 M, 5 M, and 8 M urea washes, respectively. The wash slightly reduced avidity of antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 patients within 28 days of PCR confirmation; thereafter, avidity increased for all urea concentrations except 8 M. This validation found moderate to substantial cross-reactivity on two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays using samples from a setting where malaria is endemic. A simple urea wash appeared to alleviate issues of cross-reactivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Malaria , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Malaria/diagnosis , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0068021, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455680

ABSTRACT

Validated assays are essential for reliable serosurveys; however, most SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays have been validated using specimens from China, Europe, or U.S. populations. We evaluated the performance of five commercial SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays to inform their use in serosurveys in Nigeria. Four semiquantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) (Euroimmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein [NCP] immunoglobulin G [IgG], Euroimmun spike SARS-CoV-2 IgG, Mologic Omega COVID-19 IgG, Bio-Rad Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab) and one chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG) were evaluated. We estimated the analytical performance characteristics using plasma from 100 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive patients from varied time points post-PCR confirmation and 100 prepandemic samples (50 HIV positive and 50 hepatitis B positive). The Bio-Rad assay failed the manufacturer-specified validation steps. The Euroimmun NCP, Euroimmun spike, and Mologic assays had sensitivities of 73.7%, 74.4%, and 76.9%, respectively, on samples taken 15 to 58 days after PCR confirmation and specificities of 97%, 100%, and 83.8%, respectively. The Abbott assay had 71.3% sensitivity and 100% specificity on the same panel. Parallel or serial algorithms combining two tests did not substantially improve the sensitivity or specificity. Our results showed lower sensitivity and, for one immunoassay, lower specificity compared to the manufacturers' results and other reported validations. Seroprevalence estimates using these assays might need to be interpreted with caution in Nigeria and similar settings. These findings highlight the importance of in-country validations of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays prior to use to ensure that accurate results are available for public health decision-making to control the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. IMPORTANCE This study used positive and negative sample panels from Nigeria to test the performance of several commercially available SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. Using these prepandemic and SARS-CoV-2-positive samples, we found much lower levels of sensitivity in four commercially available assays than most assay manufacturer reports and independent evaluations. The use of these assays with suboptimal sensitivity and specificity in Nigeria or countries with population exposure to similar endemic pathogens could lead to a biased estimate of the seroprevalence, over- or underestimating the true disease prevalence, and limit efforts to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. It is important to conduct in-country validations of serological SARS-CoV-2 assays prior to their widespread use, especially in countries with limited representation in published assay validations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Nigeria/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
J Pharm Policy Pract ; 14(1): 65, 2021 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406009
4.
J Pharm Policy Pract ; 14(1): 65, 2021 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1342828
5.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(7): e0051421, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276889

ABSTRACT

Accurate SARS-CoV-2 serological assays are critical for COVID-19 serosurveillance. However, previous studies have indicated possible cross-reactivity of these assays, including in areas where malaria is endemic. We tested 213 well-characterized prepandemic samples from Nigeria using two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays, Abbott Architect IgG and Euroimmun NCP IgG assay, both targeting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. To assess antibody binding strength, an avidity assay was performed on these samples and on plasma from SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive persons. Thirteen (6.1%) of 212 samples run on the Abbott assay and 38 (17.8%) of 213 run on the Euroimmun assay were positive. Anti-Plasmodium IgG levels were significantly higher among false positives for both Abbott and Euroimmun; no association was found with active Plasmodium falciparum infection. An avidity assay using various concentrations of urea wash in the Euroimmun assay reduced loosely bound IgG: of 37 positive/borderline prepandemic samples, 46%, 86%, 89%, and 97% became negative using 2 M, 4 M, 5 M, and 8 M urea washes, respectively. The wash slightly reduced avidity of antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 patients within 28 days of PCR confirmation; thereafter, avidity increased for all urea concentrations except 8 M. This validation found moderate to substantial cross-reactivity on two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays using samples from a setting where malaria is endemic. A simple urea wash appeared to alleviate issues of cross-reactivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Malaria , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Malaria/diagnosis , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(7): e0051421, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186207

ABSTRACT

Accurate SARS-CoV-2 serological assays are critical for COVID-19 serosurveillance. However, previous studies have indicated possible cross-reactivity of these assays, including in areas where malaria is endemic. We tested 213 well-characterized prepandemic samples from Nigeria using two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays, Abbott Architect IgG and Euroimmun NCP IgG assay, both targeting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein. To assess antibody binding strength, an avidity assay was performed on these samples and on plasma from SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive persons. Thirteen (6.1%) of 212 samples run on the Abbott assay and 38 (17.8%) of 213 run on the Euroimmun assay were positive. Anti-Plasmodium IgG levels were significantly higher among false positives for both Abbott and Euroimmun; no association was found with active Plasmodium falciparum infection. An avidity assay using various concentrations of urea wash in the Euroimmun assay reduced loosely bound IgG: of 37 positive/borderline prepandemic samples, 46%, 86%, 89%, and 97% became negative using 2 M, 4 M, 5 M, and 8 M urea washes, respectively. The wash slightly reduced avidity of antibodies from SARS-CoV-2 patients within 28 days of PCR confirmation; thereafter, avidity increased for all urea concentrations except 8 M. This validation found moderate to substantial cross-reactivity on two SARS-CoV-2 serological assays using samples from a setting where malaria is endemic. A simple urea wash appeared to alleviate issues of cross-reactivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Malaria , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Malaria/diagnosis , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
NPJ Digit Med ; 4(1): 17, 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072176

ABSTRACT

Previous research has demonstrated that various properties of infectious diseases can be inferred from online search behaviour. In this work we use time series of online search query frequencies to gain insights about the prevalence of COVID-19 in multiple countries. We first develop unsupervised modelling techniques based on associated symptom categories identified by the United Kingdom's National Health Service and Public Health England. We then attempt to minimise an expected bias in these signals caused by public interest-as opposed to infections-using the proportion of news media coverage devoted to COVID-19 as a proxy indicator. Our analysis indicates that models based on online searches precede the reported confirmed cases and deaths by 16.7 (10.2-23.2) and 22.1 (17.4-26.9) days, respectively. We also investigate transfer learning techniques for mapping supervised models from countries where the spread of the disease has progressed extensively to countries that are in earlier phases of their respective epidemic curves. Furthermore, we compare time series of online search activity against confirmed COVID-19 cases or deaths jointly across multiple countries, uncovering interesting querying patterns, including the finding that rarer symptoms are better predictors than common ones. Finally, we show that web searches improve the short-term forecasting accuracy of autoregressive models for COVID-19 deaths. Our work provides evidence that online search data can be used to develop complementary public health surveillance methods to help inform the COVID-19 response in conjunction with more established approaches.

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