Laboratory Serology for SARS-CoV-2


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and resulting pandemic have challenged laboratory medicine. As serologic tests are now ubiquitous and available on a variety of platforms, it is important to understand assay differences, regulatory issues, performance characteristics, utility, and limitations of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests. The differences between these assays include methodology (lateral flow, high throughput assays), measuring different antibody isotypes (IgM, IgG, total antibodies) and use in different settings. The anticipated arrival of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will further complicate the serology testing landscape. This session will provide a summary of antibody development in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including concepts such as neutralizing antibodies, and also provide an overview of the status of the practical aspects of laboratory SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing.

Originally presented on February 1, 2021 for the annual Park City AP Update.

Originally published on March 8, 2021

Lecture Presenter

Patricia R. Slev, PhD

Patricia R. Slev, PhD

Section Chief of Immunology
ARUP Laboratories
Associate Professor of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Patricia R. Slev, PhD, is the section chief of Immunology at ARUP and an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She earned her PhD in immunology and laboratory medicine from the University of Florida, Gainesville and completed a fellowship in clinical chemistry at the University of Utah. Dr. Slev’s research interests are in immunogenetics and pathogen interactions, particularly HIV and viral hepatitis.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe what is known about antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Discuss the role of neutralizing antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • List the advantages and limitations of current serology assays for SARS-CoV-2
  • Describe serology testing as related to vaccines

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories