COVID-19 Antibody Tests and Their Limitations.

ACS Sensors
Guoqiang Liu, James F Rusling


COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has developed into a global health crisis, causing over 2 million deaths and changing people's daily life the world over. Current main-stream diagnostic methods in the laboratory include nucleic acid PCR tests and direct viral antigen tests for detecting active infections, and indirect human antibody tests specific to SARS-CoV-2 to detect prior exposure. In this Perspective, we briefly describe the PCR and antigen tests and then focus mainly on existing antibody tests and their limitations including inaccuracies and possible causes of unreliability. False negatives in antibody immunoassays can arise from assay formats, selection of viral antigens and antibody types, diagnostic testing windows, individual variance, and fluctuation in antibody levels. Reasons for false positives in antibody immunoassays mainly involve antibody cross-reactivity from other viruses, as well as autoimmune disease. The spectrum bias has an effect on both the false negatives and false positives. For assay developers, not only improvement of assay formats but also selection of viral antigens and isotopes of human antibodies need to be carefully considered to improve sensitivity and specificity. For clinicians, t...Continue Reading


Jul 9, 1994·BMJ : British Medical Journal·D G Altman, J M Bland
May 15, 2008·Viral Immunology·John T RoehrigAlan D T Barrett
Oct 15, 2010·Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI·Geoffrey J GorseTheresa Z O'Connor
Mar 1, 2012·Journal of Immunological Methods·Lei ChangDavid C Duffy
Apr 25, 2012·Methods in Molecular Biology·Alexander KlimovKathy Hancock
Jul 11, 2013·Bioconjugate Chemistry·Mohammad RashidianMark D Distefano
Apr 18, 2014·Journal of Virology·Swati MukherjeeTheodore C Pierson
May 12, 2015·Journal of Immunological Methods·Andrew J RivnakDavid C Duffy
Mar 5, 2016·Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry·Xi Chen, Yao-Wen Wu
May 20, 2016·Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI·Marie Louise Landry
Jun 24, 2016·BMJ : British Medical Journal·Juliet A Usher-SmithSimon J Griffin
May 10, 2017·Journal of the American Chemical Society·Stephanie A FisherMolly S Shoichet
Aug 3, 2019·The Analyst·Mohamed SharafeldinJames F Rusling
Jan 25, 2020·The New England Journal of Medicine·Na ZhuUNKNOWN China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team
Feb 8, 2020·Clinical Chemistry·Daniel K W ChuLeo L M Poon
Feb 23, 2020·Science·Daniel WrappJason S McLellan
Mar 5, 2020·Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America·Huiguang Yi
Mar 12, 2020·Euro Surveillance : Bulletin Européen Sur Les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin·Susanne PfefferleMarc Lütgehetmann
Mar 12, 2020·Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry·Rui LiuChengliang Zhu
Mar 12, 2020·JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association·Wenling WangWenjie Tan
Mar 14, 2020·The Journal of Clinical Investigation·Arturo Casadevall, Liise-Anne Pirofski
Mar 17, 2020·Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine : CCLM·Giuseppe LippiMario Plebani
Mar 21, 2020·Emerging Microbes & Infections·Michael J Loeffelholz, Yi-Wei Tang
Mar 22, 2020·Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America·Li GuoJianwei Wang
Mar 23, 2020·The Lancet Infectious Diseases·Yang LiuWei Zhang
Mar 24, 2020·Nature Biotechnology·Cormac Sheridan
Mar 25, 2020·Emerging Microbes & Infections·Jianhui NieYouchun Wang
Mar 27, 2020·Euro Surveillance : Bulletin Européen Sur Les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin·Anu HaveriCarita Savolainen-Kopra
Mar 29, 2020·JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association·Chenguang ShenLei Liu

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Apr 27, 2021·Microchemical Journal, Devoted to the Application of Microtechniques in All Branches of Science·Julia MartínAgustin G Asuero

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Methods Mentioned

enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
surface plasmon resonance
antibody tests

Related Concepts

Related Feeds

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur as a result of an attack by the immune system on the body’s own tissues resulting in damage and dysfunction. There are different types of autoimmune diseases, in which there is a complex and unknown interaction between genetics and the environment. Discover the latest research on autoimmune diseases here.