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Volume 25, Number 10—October 2019

Sensitive and Specific Detection of Low-Level Antibody Responses in Mild Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infections

Nisreen M.A. Okba, V. Stalin Raj, Ivy Widjaja, Corine H. GeurtsvanKessel, Erwin de Bruin, Felicity D. Chandler, Wan Beom Park, Nam-Joong Kim, Elmoubasher A.B.A. Farag, Mohammed Al-Hajri, Berend-Jan Bosch, Myoung-don Oh, Marion P.G. Koopmans, Chantal B.E.M. Reusken, and Bart L. HaagmansComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (N.M.A. Okba, V.S. Raj, C.H. GeurtsvanKessel, E. de Bruin, F.D. Chandler, M.P.G. Koopmans, C.B.E.M. Reusken, B.L. Haagmans); Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands (I. Widjaja, B.-J. Bosch); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea (W.B. Park, N.-J. Kim, M.-D. Oh); Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar (E.A.B.A. Farag, M. Al-Hajri)

Main Article

Table 1

Cohorts used in study of specificity and sensitivity of assays for MERS-CoV*

Cohort Country Sample source Infection No. samples Postdiagnosis range
The Netherlands
Healthy blood donors (negative cohort)
The Netherlands
Non-CoV respiratory infections†
Adenovirus 5 2–4 w
Bocavirus 2 2–4 w
Enterovirus 2 2–4 w
HMPV 9 2–4 w
Influenza A 13 2–4 w
Influenza B 6 2–4 w
Rhinovirus 9 2–4 w
RSV 9 2–4 w
PIV-1 4 2–4 w
PIV-3 4 2–4 w
Mycoplasma pneumoniae 1 2–4 w
CMV 9 2–4 w
2–4 w
The Netherlands Persons with recent CoV infections† α-CoV HCoV-229E 19 2 w–1 y
α-CoV HCoV-NL63 18 2 w–1 y

β-CoV HCoV-OC43
2 w–1 y
D1 Qatar S1-microarray positive persons with camel contact NA 19 NA

S1-microarray negative persons with camel contact
E The Netherlands RT-PCR confirmed MERS case-patients‡ Acute‡ 21 1–14 d

15–228 d
G South Korea RT-PCR confirmed MERS case-patients Mild infection§ 17 6–12 mo
H Severe infection¶ 15 6–12 mo

*Cohorts A–C were established to test assay specificity; cohorts D–H were established to test assay sensitivity. CoV, coronavirus; CMV, Cytomegalovirus; EBV, Epstein-Barr virus; HCoV, human coronavirus; HMPV, human metapneumovirus; MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome; mo, month; NA, not applicable; PIV, parainfluenza virus; RSV, respiratory syncytial virus.
‡Samples taken from 2 case-patients at different time points.
§Samples taken from 6 case-patients at different time points.
¶Samples taken from 5 case-patients at different time points.

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Page created: September 17, 2019
Page updated: September 17, 2019
Page reviewed: September 17, 2019
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