Comparison of nucleocapsid and spike antibody ELISAs for determining SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in Kenyan women and infants

Carolyn S. Fish, Prestone Owiti, Emily R. Begnel, Hannah L. Itell, Ednah Ojee, Judith Adhiambo, Vincent Ogweno, La Rinda A. Holland, Barbra A. Richardson, Adam K. Khan, Rabia Maqsood, Soren Gantt, Efrem S. Lim, Jennifer Slyker, John Kinuthia, Julie Overbaugh, Dalton Wamalwa, Dara A. Lehman, Bhavna H. Chohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A multitude of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) has been developed to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies since the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic started in late 2019. Assessing the reliability of these assays in diverse global populations is critical. This study compares the use of the commercially available Platelia Total Ab Assay (Bio-Rad) nucleocapsid ELISA to the widely used Mount Sinai spike IgG ELISA in a Kenyan population seroprevalence study. Using longitudinal plasma specimens collected from a mother–infant cohort living in Nairobi, Kenya between May 2019 and December 2020, this study demonstrates that the two assays have a high qualitative agreement (92.7%) and strong correlation of antibody levels (R2 = 0.973) in repeated measures. Within this cohort, seroprevalence detected by either ELISA closely resembled previously published seroprevalence estimates for Kenya during the sampling period and no significant difference in the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection by either assay was observed. Assay comparability was not affected by HIV exposure status. These data support the use of the Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab ELISA as a suitable high-throughput method for seroprevalence studies in Kenya.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere28221
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Kenya
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • nucleocapsid
  • serology
  • spike

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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