Increasing the Efficiency of a National Laboratory Response to COVID-19: a Nationwide Multicenter Evaluation of 47 Commercial SARS-CoV-2 Immunoassays by 41 Laboratories

M.J.C. van den Beld, J.L. Murk, J. Kluytmans, M.P.G. Koopmans, J. Reimerink, I.H.M. van Loo, M.C.A. Wegdam-Blans, H. Zaaijer, C. GeurtsvanKessel, C. Reusken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In response to the worldwide pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the subsequent antibody tests that flooded the market, a nationwide collaborative approach in the Netherlands was employed. Forty-one Dutch laboratories joined forces and shared their evaluation data to allow for the evaluation of a quantity of serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 that exceeds the capacity of each individual laboratory. As of April 2020, these performance data had been aggregated and shared in regularly updated reports with other laboratories, Dutch government, public health organizations, and the public. This frequently updated overview of assay performance increased the efficiency of our national laboratory response, supporting laboratories in their choice and implementation of assays. Aggregated performance data for 47 immunoassays for SARS-CoV-2 showed that none of the evaluated immunoassays that detect only IgM or IgA met the diagnostic criteria, indicating that they are not suitable for diagnosing acute infections. For the detection of IgG, only the Biozek Corona virus COVID rapid test, Euroimmun SARS-CoV-2 IgG, and Wantai SARS-CoV-2 antibody (Ab) ELISA met predefined performance criteria in hospitalized patients where samples were collected 14 days post-onset of symptoms (DPO), while for patients with mild or asymptomatic infections, only the Wantai SARS-CoV-2 Ab ELISA met the predefined performance criteria if samples were collected 14 days postonset. Here, we describe this unique nationwide collaboration during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; the collected data and their results are an example of what can be accomplished when forces are joined during a public health crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00767-21
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19
  • immunoassays
  • laboratory response
  • diagnostics
  • serology

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