Comparative performance of five commercially available serologic assays to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and identify individuals with high neutralizing titers

Eshan U. Patel, Evan M. Bloch, William Clarke, Yu Hsiang Hsieh, Denali Boon, Yolanda Eby, Reinaldo E. Fernandez, Owen R. Baker, Morgan Keruly, Charles S. Kirby, Ethan Klock, Kirsten Littlefield, Jernelle Miller, Haley A. Schmidt, Philip Sullivan, Estelle Piwowar-Manning, Ruchee Shrestha, Andrew D. Redd, Richard E. Rothman, David SullivanShmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Thomas C. Quinn, Andrew Pekosz, Aaron A.R. Tobian, Oliver Laeyendecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accurate serological assays to detect antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are needed to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify potential candidates for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent plasma (CCP) donation. This study compared the performances of commercial enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) with respect to detection of IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). The diagnostic accuracy of five commercially available EIAs (Abbott, Euroimmun, EDI, ImmunoDiagnostics, and Roche) for detection of IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated using cross-sectional samples from potential CCP donors who had prior molecular confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 214) and samples from prepandemic emergency department patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 1,099). Of the 214 potential CCP donors, all were sampled >14 days since symptom onset and only a minority (n = 16 [7.5%]) had been hospitalized due to COVID-19; 140 potential CCP donors were tested by all five EIAs and a microneutralization assay. Performed according to the protocols of the manufacturers to detect IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the sensitivity of each EIA ranged from 76.4% to 93.9%, and the specificity of each EIA ranged from 87.0% to 99.6%. Using a nAb titer cutoff value of ≥160 as the reference representing a positive test result (n = 140 CCP donors), the empirical area under the receiver operating curve for each EIA ranged from 0.66 (Roche) to 0.90 (Euroimmun). Commercial EIAs with high diagnostic accuracy to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies did not necessarily have high diagnostic accuracy to detect high nAb titers. Some but not all commercial EIAs may be useful in the identification of individuals with high nAb titers among convalescent individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02257-20
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Convalescent plasma
  • Neutralizing titers
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Serologic assays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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