Objectives The rapid, accurate and safe detection of SARS-CoV-2 is the key to improving surveillance and infection containment. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether, after heat/chemical inactivation, SARS-CoV-2 N antigen chemiluminescence (CLEIA) assay in saliva remains a valid alternative to molecular testing. Methods In 2022, 139 COVID-19 inpatients and 467 healthcare workers were enrolled. In 606 self-collected saliva samples (Salivette), SARS-CoV-2 was detected by molecular (TaqPath rRT-PCR) and chemiluminescent Ag assays (Lumipulse G). The effect of sample pre-treatment (extraction solution-ES or heating) on antigen recovery was verified. Results Salivary SARS-CoV-2 antigen assay was highly accurate (AUC=0.959, 95% CI: 0.943-0.974), with 90% sensitivity and 92% specificity. Of the 254 antigen positive samples, 29 were false positives. We demonstrated that heterophilic antibodies could be a cause of false positive results. A significant antigen concentration decrease was observed after ES treatment (p=0.0026), with misclassification of 43 samples. Heat had a minimal impact, after treatment the correct classification of cases was maintained. Conclusions CLEIA SARS-CoV-2 salivary antigen provides accurate, timely and high-throughput results that remain accurate also after heat inactivation, thus ensuring a safer work environment. This supports the use of salivary antigen detection by CLEIA in surveillance programs.

New insights into SARS-CoV-2 Lumipulse G salivary antigen testing: accuracy, safety and short TAT enhance surveillance

Aita, Ada;Moz, Stefania;Contran, Nicole;Cattelan, Anna Maria;Padoan, Andrea;Cosma, Chiara;Plebani, Mario;Basso, Daniela
2022

Abstract

Objectives The rapid, accurate and safe detection of SARS-CoV-2 is the key to improving surveillance and infection containment. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether, after heat/chemical inactivation, SARS-CoV-2 N antigen chemiluminescence (CLEIA) assay in saliva remains a valid alternative to molecular testing. Methods In 2022, 139 COVID-19 inpatients and 467 healthcare workers were enrolled. In 606 self-collected saliva samples (Salivette), SARS-CoV-2 was detected by molecular (TaqPath rRT-PCR) and chemiluminescent Ag assays (Lumipulse G). The effect of sample pre-treatment (extraction solution-ES or heating) on antigen recovery was verified. Results Salivary SARS-CoV-2 antigen assay was highly accurate (AUC=0.959, 95% CI: 0.943-0.974), with 90% sensitivity and 92% specificity. Of the 254 antigen positive samples, 29 were false positives. We demonstrated that heterophilic antibodies could be a cause of false positive results. A significant antigen concentration decrease was observed after ES treatment (p=0.0026), with misclassification of 43 samples. Heat had a minimal impact, after treatment the correct classification of cases was maintained. Conclusions CLEIA SARS-CoV-2 salivary antigen provides accurate, timely and high-throughput results that remain accurate also after heat inactivation, thus ensuring a safer work environment. This supports the use of salivary antigen detection by CLEIA in surveillance programs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3461912
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