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Pathology ; 52(7): 783-789, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1043870


The aim of this study was to assess the analytic and clinical performance of four rapid lateral flow point-of-care tests (POCTs) for identifying SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. A retrospective study was conducted between 22 January and 30 March 2020 on 132 serum samples for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody detection referred to a tertiary referral hospital laboratory in New South Wales. Multiple sera were tested from 20 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients with SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies detected by immunofluorescence (IFA) or neutralisation, and 71 SARS-CoV-2 uninfected individuals. We measured the sensitivity and specificity for detection of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies for each POCT in comparison to positive SARS-CoV-2-specific IFA and viral neutralisation, our current laboratory benchmark tests. All POCTs were found to have a low analytic sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, ranging from 27.3% to 58.2%, with a specificity between 88.3% and 100%, and a low clinical sensitivity from 45% to 65%, with a clinical specificity between 87.3% and 100%. All POCTs had an increased sensitivity when specimens were collected more than 14 days from onset of symptoms. The detection using point-of-care testing of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies after disease onset lagged behind IFA by a range of 0-9 days. POCTs promise the benefit of providing quick easy testing for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. However, their poor sensitivity and delayed antibody detection make them unsuitable as a diagnostic or screening tool alone.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
Intern Med J ; 51(1): 42-51, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944728


BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of the patient cohort was 42 years (interquartile range (IQR), 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight (72.7%) patients had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 over time as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult