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    Commercially available serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 detect antibodies to either the nucleocapsid or spike protein. Here we compare the performance of the Beckman-Coulter SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG assay to that of the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid IgG and Roche Anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid total antibody assays. In addition, we document the trend in nucleocapsid and spike antibodies in sequential samples collected from convalescent plasma donors. Plasma or serum samples from 20 individual SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR-positive inpatients (n = 172), 20 individual convalescent donors with a previous RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 20), were deemed positive SARS-CoV-2 samples. RT-PCR-negative inpatients (n = 24), and 109 pre-SARS-CoV-2 samples were determined to be SARS-CoV-2 negative. Samples were assayed by the Abbott, Roche, and Beckman assays. All three assays demonstrated 100% specificity. Abbott, Beckman, and Roche platforms had sensitivities of 98%, 93%, and 90% respectively, with the difference in sensitivity attributed primarily to samples from immunocompromised patients. After the exclusion of samples immunocompromised patients, all assays exhibited ≥ 95% sensitivity. In sequential samples collected from the same individuals, the Roche nucleocapsid antibody assay demonstrated continually increasing signal intensity, with maximal values observed at the last time point examined. In contrast, the Beckman spike IgG antibody signal peaked between 14 and 28 days post positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR and steadily declined in subsequent samples. Subsequent collections 51-200 days (median of 139 days) post positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR from five inpatients and five convalescent donors revealed that spike and nucleocapsid antibodies remained detectable for several months after confirmed infection. The three assays are sensitive and specific for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Nucleocapsid and spike antibodies were detectable for up to 200 days post-positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR but demonstrated markedly different trends in signal intensity. Copyright © 2021 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Brad Poore, Robert D Nerenz, Dina Brodis, Charles I Brown, Mark A Cervinski, Jacqueline A Hubbard. A comparison of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike antibody detection using three commercially available automated immunoassays. Clinical biochemistry. 2021 Sep;95:77-80

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    PMID: 34118242

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