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J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5816-5824, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453607


Serological testing for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies is used to detect ongoing or past SARS-CoV-2 infections. To study the kinetics of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and to assess the diagnostic performances of eight serological assays, we used 129 serum samples collected on known days post symptom onset (dpso) from 42 patients with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 54 serum samples from healthy blood donors, and children infected with seasonal coronaviruses. The sera were analyzed for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin M (IgM), and immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies using indirect immunofluorescence testing (IIFT) based on SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. They were further tested for antibodies against the S1 domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (IgG, IgA) and against the viral nucleocapsid protein (IgG, IgM) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The assay specificities were 94.4%-100%. The sensitivities varied largely between assays, reflecting their respective purposes. The sensitivities of IgA and IgM assays were the highest between 11 and 20 dpso, whereas the sensitivities of IgG assays peaked between 20 and 60 dpso. IIFT showed the highest sensitivities due to the use of the whole SARS-CoV-2 as substrate and provided information on whether or not the individual has been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays provided further information about both the prevalence and concentration of specific antibodies against selected antigens of SARS-CoV-2.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
Journal of Medical Virology ; 93(10):i-i, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1353578


Front Cover Caption: The cover image is based on the Research Article Longitudinal detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses with different serological methods by Petra Emmerich et al.,

Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 118(Forthcoming)2021 Feb 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159700


BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of 2020 the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread to nearly every country in the world. The mainly airborne pathogen has led to large numbers of deaths, principally in elderly and vulnerable segments of the population. Protective vaccines have recently become available, but it is not yet clear whether and when population-wide immunity will be achieved. The existence of evidence for the protective effect of masks covering the mouth and nose is a topic of public debate. METHODS: A selective literature search was carried out in PubMed. Data from the German Robert Koch Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were also taken into account. RESULTS: When talking, as many as 20 000 droplets ranging in size from 20 to 500 µM are released every second. According to PCR tests, the amount of virus exhaled is highest immediately before the onset of symptoms. No randomized trials have been conducted on the effect of masks covering the mouth and nose. A meta-analysis of 29 studies on infection with SARS-CoV-2, SARS, or MERS revealed that type N-95 masks (corresponding approximately to FFP-2), surgical masks, or similar multilayer cotton masks can greatly reduce the infection risk for the wearers (RR 0.34 [0.26; 0.45], with moderate heterogeneity [I2 = 48%]). Model experiments and case reports suggest that masks covering the mouth and nose afford considerable protection against transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other airborne diseases by reducing release of and exposure to potentially infectious droplets; in addition, infections that do occur take a milder course. A limitation of the studies analyzed is that in most cases, this effect cannot be viewed in isolation from the protective impact of other measures (distancing, hygiene precautions). CONCLUSION: It can plausibly be assumed that consistent use of masks covering the mouth and nose can play an important role in containing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.