Detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after confirmed Omicron BA.1 and presumed BA.4/5 infections using Abbott ARCHITECT and Panbio assays

IJID Reg. 2023 Jun:7:277-280. doi: 10.1016/j.ijregi.2023.04.014. Epub 2023 May 12.


Background: Commercial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody tests were developed before variants with spike protein mutations emerged, leading to concerns that these tests have reduced sensitivity for detecting antibody responses in individuals infected with Omicron subvariants. This study was performed to evaluate Abbott ARCHITECT serologic assays, AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgG II, and SARS-CoV-2 IgG for the detection of spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) IgG antibody increases in vaccinated healthcare workers infected with Omicron subvariants.

Methods: During the BA.1/2 and BA.4/5 waves, 171 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals (122 in the BA.1/2 wave, 49 in the BA.4/5 wave) were tested for S and N IgG post infection. Sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 variant confirmation were performed on nasal swab samples from individuals infected during the BA.1/2 wave.

Results: Twenty-seven Omicron sequence confirmed individuals in the BA.1/2 wave and all 49 in the BA.4/5 wave had pre-infection antibody data. Compared to pre-infection levels, post-infection S IgG increased 6.6-fold from 1294 ± 302 BAU/ml (mean ± standard error measurement) to 9796 ± 1252 BAU/ml (P < 0.001) during the BA.1/2 wave, and 3.6-fold from 1771 ± 351 BAU/ml to 8224 ± 943 BAU/ml (P < 0.001) during the BA.4/5 wave. N IgG increased post infection 19.1-fold from 0.2 ± 0.1 to 3.7 ± 0.5 (P < 0.001) during the BA.1/2 wave and 13.5-fold from 0.22 ± 0.1 to 3.2 ± 0.3 (P < 0.001) during the BA.4/5 wave. Among 159 infection-naïve individuals, positive N IgG levels were detected with a sensitivity of 88% in the 87 individuals who were tested between 14 days and 60 days post infection.

Conclusions: The large increases in post-infection S IgG along with the N IgG sensitivity that was comparable to previously reported N IgG sensitivity data in unvaccinated individuals after Omicron infection, support the use of Abbott SARS-CoV-2 assays for detecting increased S IgG and seroconversion of N IgG in vaccinated individuals post Omicron infection. Given that 68% of the United States population is fully vaccinated, these results are of current relevance.

Keywords: Antibody; Nucleocapsid; Omicron; SARS-CoV-2; Spike; Vaccine.