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Assessing the Detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus IgG in Suspected and Proven Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection



Assessing the Detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus IgG in Suspected and Proven Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection



Viral Immunology 30(9): 649-653



Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe respiratory disease with significant mortality. Two testing methods are currently used for MERS-CoV diagnostics: nucleic acid detection (the gold standard) and serological analysis. In this study, we evaluated the detection of MERS-CoV-IgG in suspected and proven cases of MERS-CoV infection. We enrolled 174 patients: 113 had respiratory symptoms/suspected MERS-CoV infection, 31 had confirmed influenza A or B infection, 23 had a recent confirmed MERS-CoV infection, and 7 had confirmed MERS-CoV infection 1 year before. All underwent MERS-CoV RNA and MERS-CoV-IgG testing. Thirty patients were found to be MERS-CoV RNA positive; however, during serological analysis, only 6 (3.4%) patients were positive for MERS-CoV-IgG, 1 (0.6%) patient was equivocal, and 167 (96%) patients were negative. Among the serological positives, four were recently MERS-CoV RNA positive and two were MERS-CoV RNA negative. No cross-reactivity to influenza A or B was detected. Based on the lack of correlation between nucleic acid and serological analysis, we conclude that MERS-CoV-IgG testing may not be suitable for diagnosing acute infection or estimating its prevalence during an outbreak. In addition, our findings show that MERS-CoV-IgG may not have significant value in determining disease severity or prognosis.

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Accession: 059407630

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 28873020

DOI: 10.1089/vim.2017.0091


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