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mSphere ; 7(5): e0025722, 2022 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053133


Accurate, highly specific immunoassays for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are needed to evaluate seroprevalence. This study investigated the concordance of results across four immunoassays targeting different antigens for sera collected at the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the United States. Specimens from All of Us participants contributed between January and March 2020 were tested using the Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG (immunoglobulin G) assay (Abbott) and the EuroImmun SARS-CoV-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (EI). Participants with discordant results, participants with concordant positive results, and a subset of concordant negative results by Abbott and EI were also tested using the Roche Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 (IgG) test (Roche) and the Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Vitros anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG test (Ortho). The agreement and 95% confidence intervals were estimated for paired assay combinations. SARS-CoV-2 antibody concentrations were quantified for specimens with at least two positive results across four immunoassays. Among the 24,079 participants, the percent agreement for the Abbott and EI assays was 98.8% (95% confidence interval, 98.7%, 99%). Of the 490 participants who were also tested by Ortho and Roche, the probability-weighted percentage of agreement (95% confidence interval) between Ortho and Roche was 98.4% (97.9%, 98.9%), that between EI and Ortho was 98.5% (92.9%, 99.9%), that between Abbott and Roche was 98.9% (90.3%, 100.0%), that between EI and Roche was 98.9% (98.6%, 100.0%), and that between Abbott and Ortho was 98.4% (91.2%, 100.0%). Among the 32 participants who were positive by at least 2 immunoassays, 21 had quantifiable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody concentrations by research assays. The results across immunoassays revealed concordance during a period of low prevalence. However, the frequency of false positivity during a period of low prevalence supports the use of two sequentially performed tests for unvaccinated individuals who are seropositive by the first test. IMPORTANCE What is the agreement of commercial SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) assays during a time of low coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevalence and no vaccine availability? Serological tests produced concordant results in a time of low SARS-CoV-2 prevalence and no vaccine availability, driven largely by the proportion of samples that were negative by two immunoassays. The CDC recommends two sequential tests for positivity for future pandemic preparedness. In a subset analysis, quantified antinucleocapsid and antispike SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies do not suggest the need to specify the antigen targets of the sequential assays in the CDC's recommendation because false positivity varied as much between assays targeting the same antigen as it did between assays targeting different antigens.

COVID-19 , Population Health , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin G
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0156421, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622004


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 created a crucial need for serology assays to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which led to many serology assays entering the market. A trans-government collaboration was created in April 2020 to independently evaluate the performance of commercial SARS-CoV-2 serology assays and help inform U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory decisions. To assess assay performance, three evaluation panels with similar antibody titer distributions were assembled. Each panel consisted of 110 samples with positive (n = 30) serum samples with a wide range of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and negative (n = 80) plasma and/or serum samples that were collected before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each sample was characterized for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies against the spike protein using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Samples were selected for the panel when there was agreement on seropositivity by laboratories at National Cancer Institute's Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (NCI-FNLCR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The sensitivity and specificity of each assay were assessed to determine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) suitability. As of January 8, 2021, results from 91 evaluations were made publicly available (, and Sensitivity ranged from 27% to 100% for IgG (n = 81), from 10% to 100% for IgM (n = 74), and from 73% to 100% for total or pan-immunoglobulins (n = 5). The combined specificity ranged from 58% to 100% (n = 91). Approximately one-third (n = 27) of the assays evaluated are now authorized by FDA for emergency use. This collaboration established a framework for assay performance evaluation that could be used for future outbreaks and could serve as a model for other technologies. IMPORTANCE The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic created a crucial need for accurate serology assays to evaluate seroprevalence and antiviral immune responses. The initial flood of serology assays entering the market with inadequate performance emphasized the need for independent evaluation of commercial SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays using performance evaluation panels to determine suitability for use under EUA. Through a government-wide collaborative network, 91 commercial SARS-CoV-2 serology assay evaluations were performed. Three evaluation panels with similar overall antibody titer distributions were assembled to evaluate performance. Nearly one-third of the assays evaluated met acceptable performance recommendations, and two assays had EUAs revoked and were removed from the U.S. market based on inadequate performance. Data for all serology assays evaluated are available at the FDA and CDC websites (, and

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Diagnostic Test Approval , Humans , Laboratories , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United States/epidemiology , United States Food and Drug Administration