Nucleocapsid and Spike Protein-Based Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Assay Performance in the Minority and Rural Coronavirus Insights Study: Characteristics of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Populations with Health Disparities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of applied laboratory medicine




BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Black, Hispanic, and other underserved, disadvantaged populations. Here anti-SARS-CoV-2 tests are characterized in disadvantaged patients to examine equivalence in US populations. METHODS: Underserved participant adults (age > 18 years) were enrolled before the availability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in Federal Qualified Health Centers in California, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, and Ohio and contributed samples to the Minority and Rural Coronavirus Insights Study (MRCIS). A subset coined the MRCIS SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Cohort of 2365 participants was tested with the Roche Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay (Cobas e601). Five hundred ninety-five of these were also tested with the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics VITROS Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay (VITROS-5600); 1770 were also tested with the Abbott ARCHITECT SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay (ARCHITECT-2000). Assay-specific cutoffs classified negative/positive results. RESULTS: Eight point four percent (199/2365) of the MRCIS SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Cohort was SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive at enrollment. Agreement between the Ortho/Roche and the Abbott/Roche antibody testing did not vary by enrollment RNA status. The Ortho (anti-spike protein) vs Roche (anti-nucleocapsid protein) comparison agreed substantially: kappa = 0.63 (95% CI: 0.57-0.69); overall agreement, 83%. However, agreement was even better for the Abbott vs Roche assays (both anti-nucleocapsid protein tests): kappa = 0.85 (95% CI: 0.81-0.87); overall agreement, 95%. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 comparisons stratified by demographic criteria demonstrated no significant variability in agreement by sex, race/ethnicity, or age. CONCLUSIONS: Analytical agreement is 96.4% for anti-spike-protein vs anti-nucleocapsid-protein comparisons. Physiologically, seroreversion of anti-nucleocapsid reactivity after infection occurred in the disadvantaged population similarly to general populations. No anti-SARS-CoV-2 assays included demonstrated a clinically significant difference due to the demographics of the disadvantaged MRCIS SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Cohort.


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