Assessment of Diagnostic Specificity of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Tests and Their Application for Monitoring of Seroconversion and Stability of Antiviral Antibody Response in Healthcare Workers in Moscow

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing is an efficient tool to assess the proportion of seropositive population due to infection and/or vaccination. Numerous test systems utilizing various antigen composition(s) are routinely used for detection and quantitation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We determined their diagnostic specificity using archived true-negative samples collected before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using test systems demonstrating 98.5–100% specificity, we assessed the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion and durability of anti-spike (S) antibodies in healthcare professionals (n = 100) working in Moscow during the first two cycles of the pandemic (May 2020 to June 2021) outside of the “red zone”. Analysis revealed a rapid increase in anti-SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity from 19 to 80% (19/100 and 80/100, respectively) due to virus exposition/infection; only 16.3% of seroconversion cases (13/80) were due to vaccination, but not the virus exposure, although massive COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers was performed beginning in December 2020. In total, 12.7% (8/63) remained positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM for >6 months, indicating unsuitability of IgM for identification of newly infected individuals. All except one remained seropositive for anti-S antibodies for >9 months on average. Significant (>15%) declines in anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody concentrations were observed in only 18% of individuals (9/50). Our data on the high seropositivity rate and stability of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in healthcare personnel working outside of the “red zone” indicate their regular exposition to SARS-CoV-2/an increased risk of infection, while a low frequency of vaccine-induced antibody response acquired after the start of vaccination points to vaccine hesitancy. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Kichatova V.S. 1, 2 , Asadi Mobarkhan F.A. , Potemkin I.A. 1, 2 , Zlobin S.P.1 , Perfilieva O.M.1 , Valuev-Elliston V.T.3 , Ivanov A.V. 3 , Solonin S.A.4 , Godkov M.A.4 , Belikova M.G. 3, 5, 6 , Mikhailov M.I. 1, 2 , Kyuregyan K.K. 1, 2, 6
Номер выпуска
  • 1 Clinic & Research Institute for Molecular and Personalized Medicine, Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation
  • 2 Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis, Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera, Moscow, 105064, Russian Federation
  • 3 Center for Precision Genome Editing and Genetic Technologies for Biomedicine, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 4 N.V. Sklifosovsky Research Institute for Emergency Medicine of the Moscow Health Department, Moscow, 129090, Russian Federation
  • 5 Laboratory of Molecular Pathogenesis of Chronic Viral Infections, NF Gamaleja Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Moscow, 123098, Russian Federation
  • 6 Scientific and Educational Resource Center for High-Performance Methods of Genomic Analysis, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Antibodies; COVID-19; Healthcare workers; Laboratory diagnosis; SARS-CoV-2
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