Antibody Detection and Dynamic Characteristics in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019.Clin Infect Dis. 2020 11 05; 71(8):1930-1934.CI
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been rapidly spreading nationwide and abroad. A serologic test to identify antibody dynamics and response to SARS-CoV-2 was developed.
The antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on the recombinant nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 at 3-40 days after symptom onset. The gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis was nucleic acid testing for SARS-CoV-2 by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). The serodiagnostic power of the specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was investigated in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and consistency rate.
The seroconversion of specific IgM and IgG antibodies were observed as early as the fourth day after symptom onset. In the patients with confirmed COVID-19, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and consistency rate of IgM were 77.3% (51/66), 100%, 100%, 80.0%, and 88.1%, respectively, and those of IgG were 83.3% (55/66), 95.0%, 94.8%, 83.8%, and 88.9%. In patients with suspected COVID-19, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and consistency rate of IgM were 87.5% (21/24), 100%, 100%, 95.2%, and 96.4%, respectively, and those of IgG were 70.8% (17/24), 96.6%, 85.0%, 89.1%, and 88.1%. Both antibodies performed well in serodiagnosis for COVID-19 and rely on great specificity.
The antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the middle and later stages of the illness. Antibody detection may play an important role in the diagnosis of COVID-19 as a complementary approach to viral nucleic acid assays.