Comparative performance of WANTAI ELISA for total immunoglobulin to receptor binding protein and an ELISA for IgG to spike protein in detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Kenyan populations

Nyagwange J, Kutima B, Mwai K, Karanja HK, Gitonga JN, Mugo D, Uyoga S, Tuju J, Ochola-Oyier LI, Ndungu F, Bejon P, Agweyu A, Adetifa IMO, Scott JAG, Warimwe GM
J Clin Virol. 2022;146

Permenent descriptor

Many SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection assays have been developed but their differential performance is not well described. In this study we compared an in-house (KWTRP) ELISA which has been used extensively to estimate seroprevalence in the Kenyan population with WANTAI, an ELISA which has been approved for widespread use by the WHO. Using a wide variety of sample sets including pre-pandemic samples (negative gold standard), SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive samples (positive gold standard) and COVID-19 test samples from different periods (unknowns), we compared performance characteristics of the two assays. The overall concordance between WANTAI and KWTRP was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98). For WANTAI and KWTRP, sensitivity was 0.95 (95% CI 0.90-0.98) and 0.93 (95% CI 0.87-0.96), respectively. Specificity for WANTAI was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.96-0.99) and 0.99 (95% CI 0.96-1.00) while KWTRP specificity was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98-1.00) and 1.00 using pre-pandemic blood donors and pre-pandemic malaria cross-sectional survey samples respectively. Both assays show excellent characteristics to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.