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J Clin Microbiol ; 58(10)2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646227


Coronavirus disease (COVID) serological tests are essential to determine the overall seroprevalence of a population and to facilitate exposure estimates within that population. We performed a head-to-head assessment of enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) and point-of-care lateral flow assays (POCTs) to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. Demographics, symptoms, comorbidities, treatment, and mortality of patients whose sera were used were also reviewed. Six EIAs (Abbott, Affinity, Bio-Rad, DiaSorin, Euroimmun, and Roche) and six POCTs (BTNX, Biolidics, Deep Blue, Genrui, Getein BioTech, and Innovita) were evaluated for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in known COVID-19-infected individuals. Sensitivity of EIAs ranged from 50 to 100%, with only four assays having overall sensitivities of >95% after 21 days after symptom onset. Notably, cross-reactivity with other respiratory viruses (parainfluenza virus [PIV-4] [n = 5], human metapneumovirus [hMPV] [n = 3], rhinovirus/enterovirus [n = 1], CoV-229E [n = 2], CoV-NL63 [n = 2], and CoV-OC43 [n = 2]) was observed; however, overall specificity of EIAs was good (92 to 100%; all but one assay had specificity above 95%). POCTs were 0 to 100% sensitive >21 days after onset, with specificity ranging from 96 to 100%. However, many POCTs had faint banding and were often difficult to interpret. Serology assays can detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as early as 10 days after symptom onset. Serology assays vary in their sensitivity based on the marker (IgA/IgM versus IgG versus total) and by manufacturer; however, overall only 4 EIAs and 4 POCTs had sensitivities of >95% >21 days after symptom onset. Cross-reactivity with other seasonal coronaviruses is of concern. Serology assays should not be used for the diagnosis of acute infection but rather in carefully designed serosurveys to facilitate understanding of seroprevalence in a population and to identify previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serologic Tests , Time Factors