Practical guidance for clinical laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 serology testing

Can Commun Dis Rep. 2021 May 7;47(4):171-183. doi: 10.14745/ccdr.v47i04a01.


The landscape of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostic testing is rapidly evolving. While serology testing has limited diagnostic capacity for acute infection, its role in providing population-based information on positivity rates and informing evidence-based decision making for public health recommendations is increasing. With the global availability of vaccines, there is increasing pressure on clinical laboratories to provide antibody screening and result interpretation for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. Here we present the most up-to-date data on SARS-CoV-2 antibody timelines, including the longevity of antibodies, and the production and detection of neutralizing antibodies. Additionally, we provide practical guidance for clinical microbiology laboratories to both verify commercial serology assays and choose appropriate testing algorithms for their local populations.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; serological testing; serology algorithms.

Publication types

  • Review