The use of non-venous analytes has been a priority public health tool for the diagnosis, monitoring and surveillance of a range of pathogens. These methods, primarily based on Dried Blood Spots (DBS) and Gingival Crevicular Fluid (GCF), were first developed in the UK and have been applied to investigate outbreak and transmission events, to improve the diagnosis of infections in underserved populations in addition to monitoring infection trends and informing on the impact of interventions.

The ability to use non-venous analytes for antigen, antibody and nucleic acid detection and characterisation has applications to answer questions linked to SARS-CoV-2 infections. The virus has been shown to transmit efficiently between individuals and within communities, with the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 attributed to transmissions from asymptomatic but infected individuals. The ease of sampling with non-venous analytes and the ability for self-collection allows for rapid and accessible individual and population-based diagnostics and monitoring of prevalence. The convenience and acceptability of sample collection permit population prevalence studies, for example in school children or in immunised self-isolating individual populations, providing an important mechanism for generating data for virus surveillance with a potential to inform policy. A key role of population antibody testing would be to characterise the relationship between the development and dynamics of antibody responses to infection, vaccination, and the impact of the measures on subsequent rates of transmission.

Enzyme linked immunoassays formatted for immunoglobulin (Ig) capture onto the solid phase are favoured for the analysis of non-venous analytes. In this study, we compare the application of Immunoglobulin class M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin class G (IgG) Ig-capture assays to detect antibody against the Nucleoprotein and components of the Spike protein on paired GCF and sera to characterise the acute and early convalescent antibody responses in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in the UK, and correlate antibody reactivity with severity of disease.

Cite as

Ijaz, S., Dicks, S., Jegatheesan, K., Parker, E., Katsanovskaja, K., Vink, E., McClure, M., Shute, J., Hope, J., Cook, N., Cherepanov, P., Turtle, L., Paxton, W., Pollakis, G., Ho, A., Openshaw, P., Baillie, J., Semple, M. & Tedder, R. 2022, 'Mapping of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG in gingival crevicular fluid: antibody dynamics and linkage to severity of COVID-19 in hospital inpatients', Journal of Infection, 85(2), pp. 152-160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2022.05.033

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Last updated: 06 July 2022
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