The antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID19

An interesting article by Quan-Xin Long and others looked at the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in 285 patients with COVID-19.  They found that within 19 days following symptom onset, 100% of patients tested positive for IgG.  They also found that seroconversion for IgG and IgM occurred simultaneously or sequentially and that both IgG and IgM titres plateaued within six days after seroconversion. 

They concluded that although PCR RNA swab detection is sensitive and can effectively confirm cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, their data indicated that virus specific antibody detection for COVID-19 could also be important as a complement to PCR testing in the diagnosis of suspected cases with negative PCR results and in identifying asymptomatic infection in close contacts.

They went on to conclude that confirming suspected COVID-19 cases as early as possible with the help of serological testing (antibody testing) could reduce exposure risk during repeated sampling and save PCR swab testing.  Their study showed seven cases with a negative swab PCR result with no symptoms but a positive IgG and/or IgM antibody. 

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