Systematic review with meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy for COVID-19 by mass spectrometry

<strong>Mr Matt Spick</strong>
Mr Matt Spick

University of Surrey Department of Chemistry Alexander Fleming Road Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH United Kingdom

Project Abstract

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to extensive development in many fields, including the diagnosis and analysis of COVID-19 infection by mass spectrometry with contributions from the COVID-19 MS Coalition. The Bailey Research Group at the University of Surrey has constructed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the accuracy of mass spectrometry diagnostic tests developed so far, across a wide range of biological matrices, and additionally to assess risks of bias and applicability in studies published to date. 23 retrospective observational cohort studies were included in the systematic review using the PRISMA-DTA framework, with a total of 2858 COVID-19 positive participants and 2544 controls. Risks of bias and applicability were assessed via a QUADAS-2 questionnaire. A meta-analysis was also performed focusing on sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy and Youden’s Index, in addition to assessing heterogeneity. Sensitivity averaged 0.87 in the studies reviewed herein (interquartile range 0.81–0.96) and specificity 0.88 (interquartile range 0.82–0.98), with an area under the receiver operating characteristic summary curve of 0.93. By subgroup, the best diagnostic results were achieved by viral proteomic analyses of nasopharyngeal swabs and metabolomic analyses of plasma and serum. The performance of other sampling matrices (breath, sebum, saliva) was less good, indicating that these protocols are currently insufficiently mature for clinical application. This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrates the potential for mass spectrometry and ‘omics in achieving accurate test results for COVID-19 diagnosis, but also highlights the need for further work to optimize and harmonize practice across laboratories before these methods can be translated to clinical applications.



Metabolism Journal