medRxiv. 2020 Sep 2:2020.08.31.20184788. doi: 10.1101/2020.08.31.20184788. Preprint.
Accurate serological assays to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are needed to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify potential candidates for COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donation. This study compared the performance of commercial enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) to detect IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing antibodies (nAb). The diagnostic accuracy of five commercially available EIAs (Abbott, Euroimmun, EDI, ImmunoDiagnostics, and Roche) to detect IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated from cross-sectional samples of potential CCP donors that had prior molecular confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection for sensitivity (n=214) and pre-pandemic emergency department patients for specificity (n=1,102). Of the 214 potential CCP donors, all were sampled >14 days since symptom onset and only a minority had been hospitalized due to COVID-19 (n=16 [7.5%]); 140 potential CCP donors were tested by all five EIAs and a microneutralization assay. When performed according to the manufacturers' protocol to detect IgG or total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the sensitivity of each EIA ranged from 76.4% to 93.9%, and the specificity of each EIA ranged from 87.0% to 99.6%. Using a nAb titer cutoff of ≥160 as the reference positive test (n=140 CCP donors), the empirical area under receiver operating curve of each EIA ranged from 0.66 (Roche) to 0.90 (Euroimmun). Commercial EIAs with high diagnostic accuracy to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies did not necessarily have high diagnostic accuracy to detect high nAbs. Some but not all commercial EIAs may be useful in the identification of individuals with high nAbs in convalescent individuals.