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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Anja Dörschug, Julian Schwanbeck, Andreas Hahn, Anke Hillebrecht, Sabine Blaschke, Uwe Groß, Markus M. Heimesaat, Hagen Frickmann and Andreas E. Zautner

Abstract

Introduction

To efficiently monitor the COVID-19 pandemic for surveillance purposes, reliable serological rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are desirable for settings where well-established high-throughput bench-top solutions are not available. Here, we have evaluated such an RDT.

Methods

We have assessed the Xiamen AmonMed Biotechnology COVID-19 IgM/IgG test kit (Colloidal gold) and the EUROIMMUN benchtop assay with serum samples from patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 disease. Samples from patients with Epstein-Barr-virus (EBV) infection and blood donors were used for specificity testing.

Results

For the colloid gold rapid test and the EUROIMMUN assay, the study indicated overall sensitivity of 15.2% and 67.4%, respectively, while specificity of 99.0% and 97.9% with the blood donor sera, as well as 100% and 96.8% with the EBV-patients, were observed, respectively. An association of the time period between positive PCR results and serum acquisition with serological test positivity could be observed for the immunologlobulin G subclass of the EUROIMMUN assay only.

Conclusions

In spite of acceptable specificity of the assessed RDT, the detected poor sensitivity leaves room for improvement. The test results remain difficult to interpret and therefore the RDT can currently not be recommended for routine diagnostic or surveillance use.

Open access