Serological testing in the COVID-19 pandemic is mainly implemented to gain sero-epidemiological data, but can also retrospectively inform about suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. We verified and applied a two-tiered testing strategy combining a SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific lateral flow assay (LFA) with a nucleocapsid protein (NCP) IgG ELISA to assess seroconversion in n = 7241 individuals. The majority had experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19, but had no access to RT-PCR testing. Longitudinal follow-up in n = 97 LFA + individuals was performed up to 20 weeks after initial infection using NCP and spike protein S1 domain (S1) IgG ELISAs and a surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT). Individuals reporting symptoms from January 2020 onwards showed seroconversion, as did a considerable proportion of asymptomatic individuals. Seroconversion for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals was higher in an area with a known infection cluster compared to a low incidence area. Overall, 94% of individuals with a positive IgG result by LFA were confirmed by NCP ELISA. The proportion of ELISA-confirmed LFA results declined over time, in line with contracting NCP IgG titres during longitudinal follow-up. Neutralizi...Continue Reading
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