Serological immunochromatographic approach in diagnosis with SARS-CoV-2 infected COVID-19 patients

J Infect. 2020 Jul;81(1):e28-e32. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2020.03.051. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


An outbreak of new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was occurred in Wuhan, China and rapidly spread to other cities and nations. The standard diagnostic approach that widely adopted in the clinic is nucleic acid detection by real-time RT-PCR. However, the false-negative rate of the technique is unneglectable and serological methods are urgently warranted. Here, we presented the colloidal gold-based immunochromatographic (ICG) strip targeting viral IgM or IgG antibody and compared it with real-time RT-PCR. The sensitivity of ICG assay with IgM and IgG combinatorial detection in nucleic acid confirmed cases were 11.1%, 92.9% and 96.8% at the early stage (1-7 days after onset), intermediate stage (8-14 days after onset), and late stage (more than 15 days), respectively. The ICG detection capacity in nucleic acid-negative suspected cases was 43.6%. In addition, the concordance of whole blood samples and plasma showed Cohen's kappa value of 0.93, which represented the almost perfect agreement between two types of samples. In conclusion, serological ICG strip assay in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection is both sensitive and consistent, which is considered as an excellent supplementary approach in clinical application.

Keywords: Colloidal gold-based; Covid-19; Immunochromatographic strip; Real-time RT-PCR; SARS-CoV-2; Serology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Betacoronavirus / immunology*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Serologic Tests*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M