Diagnostic accuracy of serological tests and kinetics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibody: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Rev Med Virol. 2020 Nov 5;e2181. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2181. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) serological test methods and the kinetics of antibody positivity. Systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guideline. We included articles evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of serological tests and the kinetics of antibody positivity. MEDLINE through PubMed, Scopus, medRxiv and bioRxiv were sources of articles. Methodological qualities of included articles were appraised using QUADAS-2 while Metandi performs bivariate meta-analysis of DTA using a generalized linear mixed-model approach. Stata 14 and Review Manager 5.3 were used for data analysis. The summary sensitivity/specificity of chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) were 92% (95% CI: 86%-95%)/99% (CI: 97%-99%), 86% (CI: 82%-89%)/99% (CI: 98%-100%) and 78% (CI: 71%-83%)/98% (95% CI: 96%-99%), respectively. Moreover, CLIA-based assays produced nearly 100% sensitivity within 11-15 days post-symptom onset (DPSO). Based on antibody type, the sensitivity of ELISA-total antibody, CLIA-IgM/G and CLIA-IgG gauged at 94%, 92% and 92%, respectively. The sensitivity of CLIA-RBD assay reached 96%, while LFIA-S demonstrated the lowest sensitivity, 71% (95% CI: 58%-80%). CLIA assays targeting antibodies against RBD considered the best DTA. The antibody positivity rate increased corresponding with DPSO, but there was some decrement when moving from acute phase to convalescent phase of infection. As immunoglobulin isotope-related DTA was heterogeneous, our data have insufficient evidence to recommend CLIA/ELISA for clinical decision-making, but likely to have comparative advantage over RT-qPCR in certain circumstances and geographic regions.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; diagnostic accuracy; kinetics of antibody; serological tests.

Publication types

  • Review