Qualitative and quantitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from dried blood spots

Catherine L. Omosule, Justin Conklin, Sohkna Seck, Renée Howell, Karl G. Hock, Claire Ballman, James Freeman, Leon Du Toit, Erik Dubberke, Christopher W. Farnsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling is a minimally invasive method for specimen collection with potential multifaceted uses, particularly for serosurveillance of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, we assessed DBS as a potential specimen type for assessing IgG and total (including IgG and IgM) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in vaccinated and naturally infected patients. Methods: Six candidate buffers were assessed for eluting blood from DBS cards. The study utilized one hundred and five paired plasma specimens and DBS specimens from prospectively collected SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated individuals, remnants from those with PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, or remnants from those without history of infection or vaccination. All specimens were tested with the Siemens SARS-CoV-2 total assay (COV2T) or IgG assay (sCOVG). Results: The lowest backgrounds were observed with water and PBS, and water was used for elution. Relative to plasma samples, DBS samples had a positive percent agreement (PPA) of 94.4% (95% CI: 94.9–100%) for COV2T and 79.2 (68.4–87.0) for sCOVG using the manufacturer's cutoff. The NPA was 100 % (87.1–100.0 and 85.13–100) for both assays. Dilution studies revealed 100% (95% CI: 90.8–100%) qualitative agreement between specimen types on the COV2T assay and 98.0% (88.0–99.9%) with the sCOVG using study defined cutoffs. Conclusion: DBS specimens demonstrated high PPA and NPA relative to plasma for SARS-CoV-2 serological testing. Our data support feasibility of DBS sampling for SARS-CoV-2 serological testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Biochemistry
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • COVID-19
  • DBS
  • IgG
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Serology
  • Total IgG & IgM


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