Seroprevalence of Anti-Sars-Cov-2 Antibodies in Colombia, 2020: A Population-Based Study
44 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 21, 2021
Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to cause very high morbidity and mortality throughout Latin American countries. However, few population-based seroprevalence surveys have been conducted to quantify attack rates and characterize drivers of transmission.
Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study to assess the seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in ten cities in Colombia between September and December, 2020. The study involved multi-stage cluster sampling at each city. Participants provided a serum sample and answered a demographic and risk factor questionnaire. Prior infection by SARS-CoV-2 was ascertained using the "SARS-CoV-2 Total (COV2T) Advia Centaur - Siemens" chemiluminescence assay.
Findings: A total of 17863 participants from 7075 households participated in the study. Seroprevalence varied substantially between cities, ranging from 21% (95%CI 16-25%) in Medellín to 78% (95%CI 65-91%) in Guapi. There were no differences in seroprevalence by sex, but seropositivity was lower in adults 60 years or older and higher in certain ethnic groups. There was substantial heterogeneity in seroprevalence within cities, driven to a large extent by a strong association between socio-economic stratum and seropositivity.
Interpretation: Colombia has been one of the Latin American countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study documented very high attack rates in several Colombian cities by the end of 2020 and identified key drivers of heterogeneities including ethnicity and socio-economic stratum. Few studies of seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 have been conducted in Latin America, and therefore this study contributes to the fundamental understanding of the pandemic in the region.
Note: Funding: The study was sponsored by, Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología e Innovación –CT361/2020-, Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social, Fundación Universitaria del Norte, Imperial College of London, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Sede Medellín), Universidad de Córdoba, California University, Unidad Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo, Centro de Atención y Diagnóstico de Enfermedades Infecciosas -CDI-, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Médicas -CIDEIM-, Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística - DANE, Fondo Nacional de Turismo -FONTUR-, Secretarías de Salud Departamentales, Distritales y Municipales and Instituto Nacional de Salud. Besides the funding, the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología e Innovación had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing the report.
Declaration of Interests: All the authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: The study proposal and protocol were approved by the ethics committee of Instituto Nacional de Salud (CEMIN 010/2020). We obtained written informed consent from each adult participant as well as oral assent and written parental permission from all participants between five and 17 years of age.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Seroprevalence, COVID-19, Colombia, Public Health, population
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