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EDTA-K2 Improves the Detection Sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG Antibodies by Chelating Colloidal Gold in the Immunochromatographic Assay

Authors Hu X, Wu C, Situ B, Tian P, An T, Li Q, Pan W, Zhang R, Yang B, Sun D, Hu Y, Wang Q, Zheng L

Received 17 September 2020

Accepted for publication 24 December 2020

Published 29 January 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 715—724


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Farooq A. Shiekh

Xiumei Hu,1,* Changmeng Wu,1,* Bo Situ,1,* Peifu Tian,2,* Taixue An,1 Qiang Li,1 Weilun Pan,1 Ruyi Zhang,1 Biao Yang,3 Dehua Sun,1 Yuhai Hu,2 Qian Wang,1,3 Lei Zheng1

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Medicine Laboratory, Hankou Hospital of Wuhan, Wuhan 430010, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510280, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Lei Zheng; Qian Wang Email;

Objective: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is now rapidly spreading globally. Serological tests are an important method to assist in the diagnosis of COVID-19, used for epidemiological investigations. In this study, we aimed to investigate the impact of different types of vacuum collection tubes on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies, using the colloidal gold immunochromatographic assay (GICA).
Patients and Methods: A total of 112 patients with COVID-19 and 200 healthy control subjects with no infection were enrolled in this study. Their serum and plasma were collected into four different types of vacuum blood collection tubes. SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG specific antibodies in the plasma and serum were then detected by GICA and chemiluminescence assay (CA), respectively. In addition, the particle sizes of different colloidal gold solutions in the presence of different anticoagulants and coagulants were evaluated by both laser diffraction (Malvern) and confocal laser microscope, respectively.
Results: Our results revealed that anticoagulated plasma with EDTA-K2 improved the positive detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibodies. Furthermore, our results shown that the detection results by GICA and CA were highly consistent, especially, the results of EDTA-K2 anticoagulated plasma detected by GICA was more consistent with CA results. We confirmed that EDTA-K2 could improve the detection sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies by chelating excessive colloidal gold compared with sodium citrate or lithium heparin, these methodologies did not appear to cause false positives. Colloidal gold particles could be chelated and aggregated by EDTA-K2, but not by sodium citrate, lithium heparin and coagulants.
Conclusion: GICA is widely used to detect antibodies for the advantages of convenient, fast, low cost, suitable for screening large sample and require minimal equipment. In this study, we found that EDTA-K2 amplified the positive antibody signal by chelating colloidal gold and improved the detection sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies when using the GICA. Therefore, we suggested that EDTA-K2 anticoagulated plasma was more suitable for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Keywords: EDTA-K2, SARS-CoV-2, antibodies, gold immunochromatographic assay; GICA

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