False-positive SARS-CoV-2 serology in 3 children with Kawasaki disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute febrile and eruptive disease with systemic vasculitis predominantly affecting young East Asian children. Recent reports showed that children with KD-like disease from KD low prevalence regions had positive SARS-CoV-2 serology despite a negative SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in respiratory samples.To describe 3 pediatric Kawasaki Disease patients with false positive SARS-CoV-2 serology.We retrospectively recruited children with KD diagnosed during the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong. Clinical characteristics and laboratory test results including SARS-CoV-2 PCR results were retrieved. We performed a microparticle-based immunoassay for the detection of IgG against nucleoprotein (NP) and spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD), and a microneutralization assay for the detection of neutralizing antibodies.Three Chinese children with typical KD were identified. They had no epidemiological links with COVID-19 patients and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 NPA PCR. They were treated with IVIG and aspirin, and were discharged without complications. Subsequently 2 of them were tested positive against anti-RBD and anti-NP antibodies and 1 was tested positive against anti- RBD antibodies. However, microneutralization assay showed that neutralizing antibodies were absent, suggesting a false-positive IgG result.Detection of neutralizing antibodies is recommended to confirm previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in IgG-positive but PCR-negative patients.Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • November 2020