Characteristics of patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) confirmed using an IgM-IgG antibody test

J Med Virol. 2020 Apr 24;10.1002/jmv.25930. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25930. Online ahead of print.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by a novel betacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly developed into a pandemic since it was first reported in December 2019. Nucleic acid testing is the standard method for the diagnosis of viral infections. However, this method reportedly has a low positivity rate. To increase the sensitivity of COVID-19 diagnoses, we developed an IgM-IgG combined assay and tested it in patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. In total, 56 patients were enrolled in this study and SARS-CoV-2 was detected by using both IgM-IgG antibody and nucleic acid tests. Clinical and laboratory data were collected and analyzed. Our findings suggest that patients who develop severe illness might experience longer virus exposure times and develop a more severe inflammatory response. The IgM-IgG test is an accurate and sensitive diagnostic method. A combination of nucleic acid and IgM-IgG testing is a more sensitive and accurate approach for diagnosis and early treatment of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; IgG; IgM; SARS-CoV-2; diagnosis.