Popul Health Manag

. 2020 Nov 19.
doi: 10.1089/pop.2020.0256. Online ahead of print.
Insights from Patterns of SARS-CoV-2 Immunoglobulin G Serology Test Results from a National Clinical Laboratory, United States, March-July 2020

Harvey W Kaufman 1 , Zhen Chen 1 , William A Meyer 3rd 1 , Jay G Wohlgemuth 1



Serologic tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) provide information on past infection and immune response. To better understand the persistence of immune response and the proportion of the population who can develop one, the authors assessed patterns of immunoglobulin G (IgG) positivity over time in individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA or IgG at a large national reference laboratory. More than 2.4 million SARS-CoV-2 IgG serology (initiated April 21, 2020) and 6.6 million nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) (initiated March 9, 2020) results on persons from across the United States as of July 10, 2020 were analyzed. Additional IgG serology results through August 11, 2020 were used for one household analysis. SARS-CoV-2 IgG positivity was observed in 91% (19,434/21,452) of individuals tested after a positive NAAT result and in 10% (7,831/80,968) after a negative NAAT result. Factors associated with seropositivity include age, region of patient residence, and interval between NAAT and IgG serology. The probability of persistent IgG seropositivity declined from 98.6% after 1 week to 74.3% after 2 months, less so in individuals ages ≥55 years than in younger groups. Specimens within 2 days from pairs of same-household members showed 92% IgG antibody concordance. Household adults were more frequently IgG positive prior to household children testing positive (36% versus 8%). IgG serology testing can identify an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 that varies based on age, sex, and duration since exposure. Loss of detectable IgG seropositivity occurs, in some patients, over weeks or months. Adults may be infecting household children.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2.