Clinical Performance of Two SARS-CoV-2 Serologic Assays

Mei San Tang, Karl G. Hock, Nicole M. Logsdon, Jennifer E. Hayes, Ann M. Gronowski, Neil W. Anderson, Christopher W. Farnsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The recent emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a rapid proliferation of serologic assays. However, little is known about their clinical performance. Here, we compared two commercial SARS-CoV-2 IgG assays. METHODS: 103 specimens from 48 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and 153 control specimens were analyzed using SARS-CoV-2 serologic assays by Abbott and EUROIMMUN (EI). Duration from symptom onset was determined by medical record review. Diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and concordance were calculated. RESULTS: The Abbott SARS-CoV-2 assay had a diagnostic specificity of 99.4% (95% CI; 96.41-99.98%), and sensitivity of 0.0% (95% CI; 0.00-26.47%) at <3 days post symptom onset, 30.0% (95% CI; 11.89-54.28) at 3-7d, 47.8% (95% CI; 26.82-69.41) at 8-13d and 93.8% (95% CI; 82.80-98.69) at ≥14d. Diagnostic specificity on the EI assay was 94.8% (95% CI; 89.96-97.72) if borderline results were considered positive and 96.7% (95% CI; 92.54-98.93) if borderline results were considered negative. The diagnostic sensitivity was 0.0% (95% CI; 0.00-26.47%) at <3d, 25.0% (95% CI; 8.66-49.10) at 3-7d, 56.5% (95% CI; 34.49-76.81) at 3-7d and 85.4% (95% CI; 72.24-93.93) at ≥14d if borderline results were considered positive. The qualitative concordance between the assays was 0.83 (95% CI; 0.75-0.91). CONCLUSION: The Abbott SARS-CoV-2 assay had fewer false positive and false negative results than the EI assay. However, diagnostic sensitivity was poor in both assays during the first 14 days of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1062
Number of pages8
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Serology


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