Evaluation by indirect immunofluorescent assay and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay of the dynamic changes of serum antibody responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Hong-ying Mo, Jun Xu, Xiao-lan Ren, Guang-qiao Zeng, Ya-xia Tan, Rong-chang Chen, Moira Chan-Yeung, Nan-shan Zhong
Chinese Medical Journal 2005 March 20, 118 (6): 446-50

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a newly emerging virus that gives rise to SARS patients with high rates of infectivity and fatality. To study the humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV, the authors evaluated IgG and IgM specific antibodies in patients' sera.

METHODS: Two methods, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescent assay (IFA), were used to detect specific serum IgG and IgM against SARS-CoV in 98 SARS patients and 250 controls consisting of patients with pneumonia, health-care professionals and healthy subjects. The serum antibody profiles were investigated at different times over one and a half years in 18 of the SARS patients.

RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA for detecting IgG against SARS-CoV were 100.0% and 97.2% and for IgM 89.8% and 97.6% respectively; the figures using IFA for IgG were 100.0% and 100.0% and for IgM 81.8% and 100.0% respectively. During the first seven days of the antibodies trace test, no IgG and IgM were detected, but on day 15, IgG response increased dramatically, reaching a peak on day 60, remaining high up to day 180 and decreasing gradually until day 540. On day 15, IgM was detected, rapidly reached a peak, then declined gradually until day 180 when IgM was undetectable.

CONCLUSION: The detection of antibodies against SARS virus is helpful in the clinical diagnosis of SARS.

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