Inference of SARS-CoV-2 spike-binding neutralizing antibody titers in sera from hospitalized COVID-19 patients by using commercial enzyme and chemiluminescent immunoassays.Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021 Mar; 40(3):485-494.EJ
Whether antibody levels measured by commercially available enzyme or chemiluminescent immunoassays targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein can act as a proxy for serum neutralizing activity remains to be established for many of these assays. We evaluated the degree of correlation between neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and SARS-CoV-2-S-IgG levels measured by four commercial immunoassays in sera drawn from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Ninety sera from 51 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were tested by a pseudotyped virus neutralization assay, the LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG, the Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA, the MAGLUMI 2019-nCoV IgG, and the COVID-19 ELISA IgG assays. Overall, the results obtained with the COVID-19 ELISA IgG test showed the highest agreement with the NtAb assay (κ, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.63-1). The most sensitive tests were the pseudotyped virus NtAb assay and the COVID-19 ELISA IgG assay (92.2% for both). Overall, the degree correlation between antibody titers resulting in 50% virus neutralization (NtAb50) in the pseudotyped virus assay and SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels was strong for the Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA (rho = 0.73) and moderate for the remaining assays (rho = 0.48 to 0.59). The kinetic profile of serum NtAb50 titers could not be reliably predicted by any of the SARS-CoV-2 IgG immunoassays. The suitability of SARS-CoV-2-S-IgG commercial immunoassays for inferring neutralizing activity of sera from hospitalized COVID-19 patients varies widely across tests and is influenced by the time of sera collection after the onset of symptoms.