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      Serologic testing of U.S. blood donations to identify SARS-CoV-2-reactive antibodies: December 2019-January 2020

      research-article
      , MD 1 , , MD 1 , 2 , , PhD 2 , , PhD 2 , , PhD 3 , 3 , , PhD 1 , , PhD 1 , , PhD 1 , , MS 1 , , PhD 1 , , PhD 1 , , MS 4 , , MPH 6 , , MSPH 1 , 1 , 1 , , MS 1 , , PhD 7 , 1 , , PhD 1 , , PhD 6 , , MS 1 , , MS 1 , 4 , , MS 4 , 4 , , MS 7 , , PhD 4 , , MS 1 , 6 , , MS 4 , , PhD 5 , 1 , , PhD 1 , , MD 1 , , PhD 1 , , MD 1 , , PhD 1 , , PhD 2
      Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Background

          SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, with subsequent worldwide spread. The first U.S. cases were identified in January 2020.

          Methods

          To determine if SARS-CoV-2 reactive antibodies were present in sera prior to the first identified case in the U.S. on January 19, 2020, residual archived samples from 7,389 routine blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from December 13, 2019 to January 17, 2020, from donors resident in nine states (California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin) were tested at CDC for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Specimens reactive by pan-immunoglobulin (pan Ig) enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against the full spike protein were tested by IgG and IgM ELISAs, microneutralization test, Ortho total Ig S1 ELISA, and receptor binding domain / Ace2 blocking activity assay.

          Results

          Of the 7,389 samples, 106 were reactive by pan Ig. Of these 106 specimens, 90 were available for further testing. Eighty four of 90 had neutralizing activity, 1 had S1 binding activity, and 1 had receptor binding domain / Ace2 blocking activity >50%, suggesting the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2-reactive antibodies. Donations with reactivity occurred in all nine states.

          Conclusions

          These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may have been introduced into the United States prior to January 19, 2020.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clin Infect Dis
          Clin Infect Dis
          cid
          Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
          Oxford University Press (US )
          1058-4838
          1537-6591
          30 November 2020
          : ciaa1785
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta GA, USA
          [2 ] American Red Cross, Scientific Affairs, Gaithersburg , MD, USA
          [3 ] Synergy America Inc , Atlanta GA, USA
          [4 ] Eagle Global Scientific , Atlanta GA, USA
          [5 ] Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education , Oak Ridge, TN
          [6 ] IHRC , Atlanta, GA
          [7 ] CFD Research Corporation
          Author notes
          Corresponding author: Natalie J. Thornburg Ph.D. Respiratory Diseases Immunology Laboratory, Respiratory Viruses Branch, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, nax3@ 123456cdc.gov
          Article
          ciaa1785
          10.1093/cid/ciaa1785
          7799215
          33252659
          14a83bd1-0633-4596-8db0-32b88c4f4b3b
          Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2020. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

          This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

          This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

          History
          : 19 October 2020
          Categories
          Major Article
          AcademicSubjects/MED00290
          Custom metadata
          PAP
          accepted-manuscript

          Infectious disease & Microbiology
          Infectious disease & Microbiology

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