Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERSCoV) was detected in humans in 2012. Since then, sporadic outbreaks with primary transmission through dromedary camels to humans and outbreaks in healthcare settings have shown that MERS-CoV continues to pose a threat to human health. Several serologic assays for MERS-CoV have been developed globally. We describe a collaborative study to investigate the comparability of serologic assays for MERS-CoV and assess any benefit associated with the introduction of a standard reference reagent for MERS-CoV serology. Our study findings indicate that, when possible, laboratories should use a testing algorithm including >2 tests to ensure correct diagnosis of MERS-CoV. We also demonstrate that the use of a reference reagent greatly improves the agreement between assays, enabling more consistent and therefore more meaningful comparisons between results.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
C.D. was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) grant RAPID (no. 01KI1723A) and the EU-Horizon 2020 grants COMPARE (no. 643476) and EVAg (no. 653316).
We thank the following institutions and organizations: Universit?tsklinikum, Bonn, Germany; Charit?-Universit?tsmedizin, Berlin, Germany; Korea National Institute of Health; the Central Public Health Laboratory, Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman; Public Health Department, Supreme Council of Health, Qatar; the Ministry of Health, Public Health Directorate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; SAb Biotherapeutics, South Dakota, USA. We also thank Humayun Asghar from the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office for assistance obtaining the serum for the study. C.D. was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) grant RAPID (no. 01KI1723A) and the EU-Horizon 2020 grants COMPARE (no. 643476) and EVAg (no. 653316).
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