Evaluation of serological SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow assays for rapid point of care testing

Steven E. Conklin, Kathryn Martin, Yukari C. Manabe, Haley A. Schmidt, Jernelle Miller, Morgan Keruly, Ethan Klock, Charles S. Kirby, Owen R. Baker, Reinaldo E. Fernandez, Yolanda J. Eby, Justin Hardick, Katy Shaw Saliba, Richard E. Rothman, Patrizio P Caturegli, Andrew R. Redd, Aaron A.R. Tobian, Evan M. Bloch, Harry Larman, Thomas C. QuinnWilliam Clarke, Oliver Laeyendecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Rapid point-of-care tests (POCTs) for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies vary in performance. A critical need exists to perform head-to-head comparison of these assays. Methods. Performance of fifteen different lateral flow POCTs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies was performed on a well characterized set of 100 samples. Of these, 40 samples from known SARS-CoV-2-infected, convalescent individuals (average of 45 days post symptom onset) were used to assess sensitivity. Sixty samples from the pre-pandemic era (negative control), that were known to have been infected with other respiratory viruses (rhinoviruses A, B, C and/or coronavirus 229E, HKU1, NL63 OC43) were used to assess specificity. The timing of seroconversion was assessed on five POCTs on a panel of 272 longitudinal samples from 47 patients of known time since symptom onset. Results. For the assays that were evaluated, the sensitivity and specificity for any reactive band ranged from 55%-97% and 78%-100%, respectively. When assessing the performance of the IgM and the IgG bands alone, sensitivity and specificity ranged from 0%-88% and 80%-100% for IgM and 25%-95% and 90%-100% for IgG. Longitudinal testing revealed that median time post symptom onset to a positive result was 7 days (IQR 5.4, 9.8) for IgM and 8.2 days (IQR 6.3 to 11.3). Conclusion. The testing performance varied widely among POCTs with most variation related to the sensitivity of the assays. The IgM band was most likely to misclassify pre-pandemic samples. The appearance of IgM and IgG bands occurred almost simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Aug 4 2020


  • Cross-reactivity
  • Performance
  • Point of care test
  • SARS-CoV-2 serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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