Objective To evaluate the dynamics and longevity of the humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and assess the performance of professional use of the UK-RTC AbC-19 Rapid Test lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for the target condition of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG antibodies.
Design Nationwide serological study.
Setting Northern Ireland, UK, May 2020–February 2021.
Participants Plasma samples were collected from a diverse cohort of individuals from the general public (n=279), Northern Ireland healthcare workers (n=195), pre-pandemic blood donations and research studies (n=223) and through a convalescent plasma programme (n=183). Plasma donors (n=101) were followed with sequential samples over 11 months post-symptom onset.
Main outcome measures SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in plasma samples using Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgA/IgM, Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG and EuroImmun IgG SARS-CoV-2 ELISA immunoassays over time. UK-RTC AbC-19 LFIA sensitivity and specificity, estimated using a three-reference standard system to establish a characterised panel of 330 positive and 488 negative SARS-CoV-2 IgG samples.
Results We detected persistence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies for up to 10 months post-infection, across a minimum of two laboratory immunoassays. On the known positive cohort, the UK-RTC AbC-19 LFIA showed a sensitivity of 97.58% (95.28% to 98.95%) and on known negatives, showed specificity of 99.59% (98.53 % to 99.95%).
Conclusions Through comprehensive analysis of a cohort of pre-pandemic and pandemic individuals, we show detectable levels of IgG antibodies, lasting over 46 weeks when assessed by EuroImmun ELISA, providing insight to antibody levels at later time points post-infection. We show good laboratory validation performance metrics for the AbC-19 rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG antibody detection in a laboratory-based setting.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
- Antibodies, Viral
- Antibody Formation
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Diagnostic Microbiology
- Immunization, Passive
- Immunoglobulin G
- Molecular Diagnostics
- Northern Ireland
- Sensitivity and Specificity
- Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
- molecular diagnostics
- diagnostic microbiology