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J Clin Virol ; 146: 105052, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549904


BACKGROUND: Antibody detection of SARS-CoV-2 requires an understanding of its variation, course, and duration. METHODS: Antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated over 5-430 days on 828 samples across COVID-19 severity levels, for total antibody (TAb), IgG, IgA, IgM, neutralizing antibody (NAb), antibody avidity, and for receptor-binding-domain (RBD), spike (S), or nucleoprotein (N). Specificity was determined on 676 pre-pandemic samples. RESULTS: Sensitivity at 30-60 days post symptom onset (pso) for TAb-S/RBD, TAb-N, IgG-S, IgG-N, IgA-S, IgM-RBD, and NAb was 96.6%, 99.5%, 89.7%, 94.3%, 80.9%, 76.9% and 92.8%, respectively. Follow-up 430 days pso revealed: TAb-S/RBD increased slightly (100.0%); TAb-N decreased slightly (97.1%); IgG-S and IgA-S decreased moderately (81.4%, 65.7%); NAb remained positive (94.3%), slightly decreasing in activity after 300 days; there was correlation with IgG-S (Rs = 0.88) and IgA-S (Rs = 0.71); IgG-N decreased significantly from day 120 (15.7%); IgM-RBD dropped after 30-60 days (22.9%). High antibody avidity developed against S/RBD steadily with time in 94.3% of patients after 430 days. This correlated with persistent antibody detection depending on antibody-binding efficiency of the test design. Severe COVID-19 correlated with earlier and higher antibody response, mild COVID-19 was heterogeneous with a wide range of antibody reactivities. Specificity of the tests was ≥99%, except for IgA (96%). CONCLUSION: Sensitivity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 assays was determined by test design, target antigen, antibody avidity, and COVID-19 severity. Sustained antibody detection was mainly determined by avidity progression for RBD and S. Testing by TAb and for S/RBD provided the highest sensitivity and longest detection duration of 14 months so far.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Kinetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504717


IntroductionNumerous CE-marked SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDT) are offered in Europe, several of them with unconfirmed quality claims.AimWe performed an independent head-to-head evaluation of the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT offered in Germany.MethodsWe addressed the sensitivity of 122 Ag RDT in direct comparison using a common evaluation panel comprised of 50 specimens. Minimum sensitivity of 75% for panel specimens with a PCR quantification cycle (Cq) ≤ 25 was used to identify Ag RDT eligible for reimbursement in the German healthcare system.ResultsThe sensitivity of different SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT varied over a wide range. The sensitivity limit of 75% for panel members with Cq ≤ 25 was met by 96 of the 122 tests evaluated; 26 tests exhibited lower sensitivity, few of which failed completely. Some RDT exhibited high sensitivity, e.g. 97.5 % for Cq < 30.ConclusionsThis comparative evaluation succeeded in distinguishing less sensitive from better performing Ag RDT. Most of the evaluated Ag RDT appeared to be suitable for fast identification of acute infections associated with high viral loads. Market access of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT should be based on minimal requirements for sensitivity and specificity.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Germany , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504591


IntroductionThe detection of SARS-CoV-2 with rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) has become an important tool to identify infected people and break infection chains. These RDT are usually based on antigen detection in a lateral flow approach.AimWe aimed to establish a comprehensive specimen panel for the decentralised technical evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests.MethodsWhile for PCR diagnostics the validation of a PCR assay is well established, there is no common validation strategy for antigen tests, including RDT. In this proof-of-principle study we present the establishment of a panel of 50 pooled clinical specimens that cover a SARS-CoV-2 concentration range from 1.1 × 109 to 420 genome copies per mL of specimen. The panel was used to evaluate 31 RDT in up to six laboratories.ResultsOur results show that there is considerable variation in the detection limits and the clinical sensitivity of different RDT. We show that the best RDT can be applied to reliably identify infectious individuals who present with SARS-CoV-2 loads down to 106 genome copies per mL of specimen. For the identification of infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 loads corresponding to less than 106 genome copies per mL, only three RDT showed a clinical sensitivity of more than 60%.ConclusionsSensitive RDT can be applied to identify infectious individuals with high viral loads but not to identify all infected individuals.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
J Infect Dis ; 223(1): 56-61, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066345


BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has caused a pandemic with tens of millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. The infection causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease of the respiratory system of divergent severity. In the current study, humoral immune responses were characterized in a cohort of 143 patients with COVID-19 from the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Germany. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2-specific-antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). SARS-CoV-2 and human coronavirus NL63 neutralization activity was analyzed with pseudotyped lentiviral vectors. RESULTS: The severity of COVID-19 increased with age, and male patients encountered more serious symptoms than female patients. Disease severity was correlated with the amount of SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgA and the neutralization activity of the antibodies. The amount of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies decreased with time after polymerase chain reaction conformation of the infection, and antibodies directed against the nucleoprotein waned faster than spike protein-directed antibodies. In contrast, for the common flu coronavirus NL63, COVID-19 disease severity seemed to be correlated with low NL63-neutralizing activities, suggesting the possibility of cross-reactive protection. CONCLUSION: The results describe the humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 and might aid the identification of correlates of protection needed for vaccine development.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cohort Studies , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Germany , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult