Analytical and Clinical Evaluation of the Semiquantitative Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Receptor Binding Domain Antibody Assay on the Roche cobas e602 Analyzer

Am J Clin Pathol. 2022 Jan 6;157(1):109-118. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/aqab092.


Objectives: To analytically and clinically evaluate the semiquantitative Elecsys anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein antibody (S-Ab) assay on the Roche cobas e602 analyzer.

Methods: The S-Ab assay is a 1-step, double-antigen sandwich electrochemiluminescent immunoassay that semiquantitatively measures total IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies specific for the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in serum or plasma. The S-Ab assay was evaluated for precision, linearity, interference (by hemoglobin, bilirubin, triglycerides, and biotin), cross-reactivity, and clinical performance, and was compared to the qualitative Elecsys anti-nucleocapsid (N-Ab) immunoassay, a lateral flow device that qualitatively detects S-Ab and N-Ab, and an anti-spike enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: S-Ab assay is precise, exhibits linearity from 0.4 to 250 U/mL, is unaffected by significant cross-reactivity or interferences, and qualitatively demonstrates greater than 90% concordance with N-Ab assay and lateral flow device. Readouts of S-Ab assay correlate with ELISA, which in turn correlates strongly with SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization assay, and exhibit 100% sensitivity and specificity for COVID-19 patient samples obtained at or more than 14 days after PCR positivity.

Conclusions: The S-Ab assay is a robust clinical test for qualitative and semiquantitative detection of seropositivity following SARS-CoV-2 infection or spike-encoding mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.

Keywords: Anti-spike antibodies; Antibodies; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Diagnostics; Immunoassay; SAR-CoV-2; Semiquantitative; Serology; Spike protein.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • spike protein, SARS-CoV-2