SARS-CoV-2 IgG detection in human oral fluids
Ifeanichukwu O Okike,
Andrew J Brent,
Kevin Edward Brown,
Mary E Ramsay,
David WG Brown,
John V Parry,
Posted 07 Jul 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.07.21260121
Posted 07 Jul 2021
Seroepidemiological studies to monitor antibody kinetics are important for assessing the extent and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population. Non-invasive sampling methods are advantageous to reduce the need for venepuncture, which may be a barrier to investigations particularly in paediatric populations. Oral Fluids are obtained by gingiva-crevicular sampling from children and adults and are very well accepted. ELISA based on these samples have acceptable sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional serum-based antibody ELISAs and are suitable for population-based surveillance. We describe the development and evaluation of SARS-COV-2 IgG ELISAs using SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleoprotein (NP) and spike (S) proteins in IgG isotype capture format and an indirect receptor-binding-domain (RBD) IgG ELISA, intended for use in children. All three assays were assessed using a panel of 1999 paired serum and oral fluids from children and adults participating in national primary school SARS-CoV-2 surveillance studies during and after the first and second pandemic wave in the UK. The anti NP IgG capture assay was the best candidate, with an overall sensitivity of 75% (95% CI: 71-79%) specificity of 99% (95% CI: 78-99%) when compared with paired serum antibodies measured using a commercial assay SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein IgG assay (Abbott, Chicago, IL, USA). Higher sensitivity was observed in children (80%, 95% CI: 71-88%) compared to adults (67%, CI: 60%-74%). Oral fluid assays using spike protein and RBD antigens were also 99% specific and achieved reasonable but lower sensitivity in the target population (78%, 95% CI (68%-86%) and 53%, 95% CI (43%-64%), respectively).
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