Comparison of eight commercial, high-throughput, automated or ELISA assays detecting SARS-CoV-2 IgG or total antibody

J Clin Virol. 2020 Nov;132:104613. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104613. Epub 2020 Sep 7.


Background: Many commercial assays, of different designs, detecting SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies exist but with little experience with them.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the performance of assays detecting IgG or total antibodies to N or S antigens, validated for routine use in France, with samples from subjects with more or less severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methods: Eight assays were used: Abbott Architect, DiaSorin Liaison®, bioMérieux Vidas®, Roche Elecsys Cobas®, Siemens Atellica®, BioRad Platelia ELISA, Epitope Diagnostics ELISA, and Wantai ELISA. The tested population included 86 samples from 40 hospitalized subjects and 28 outpatients at different time from symptom onset.

Results: The positivity rate varied depending on the assay but was greater for all assays in hospitalized than non-hospitalized patients. Despite a good correlation between the assays, discrepancies occurred, without a systematic origin, even for samples taken more than 20 days after symptom onset. These discrepancies were linked to low antibody levels in pauci-symptomatic patients.

Conclusion: Whichever assay is chosen, a false negative result may need to be ruled out with another test in a risk situation.

Keywords: COVID-19; IgG; Immunoassay; SARS-CoV-2; Serology; Total Ig.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Automation, Laboratory
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 Testing / methods*
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Limit of Detection
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Serologic Tests
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G