The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 during the first wave in Europe 2020: A systematic review

Vaselli, Natasha Marcella, Hungerford, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-9770-0163, Shenton, Ben, Khashkhusha, Arwa, Cunliffe, Nigel A ORCID: 0000-0002-5449-4988 and French, Neil ORCID: 0000-0003-4814-8293
(2021) The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 during the first wave in Europe 2020: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 16 (11). e0250541-.

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<h4>Background</h4>A year following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, new infections and deaths continue to increase in Europe. Serological studies, through providing evidence of past infection, can aid understanding of the population dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection.<h4>Objectives</h4>This systematic review of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies in Europe was undertaken to inform public health strategies including vaccination, that aim to accelerate population immunity.<h4>Methods</h4>We searched the databases Web of Science, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and grey literature sources for studies reporting seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Europe published between 01/12/2019-30/09/20. We provide a narrative synthesis of included studies. Studies were categorized into subgroups including healthcare workers (HCWs), community, outbreaks, pregnancy and children/school. Due to heterogeneity in other subgroups, we only performed a random effects meta-analysis of the seroprevalence amongst HCWs stratified by their country.<h4>Results</h4>115 studies were included spanning 17 European countries, that estimated the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 from samples obtained between November 2019 -August 2020. A total of 54/115 studies included HCWs with a reported seroprevalence among HCWs ranging from 0.7% to 45.3%, which did not differ significantly by country. In community studies significant heterogeneity was reported in the seroprevalence between different age groups and the majority of studies reported there was no significant difference by gender.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This review demonstrates a wide heterogeneity in reported seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies between populations. Continued evaluation of seroprevalence is required to understand the impact of public health measures and inform interventions including vaccination programmes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Public Health, Europe, Pandemics, COVID-19
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 10:49
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:27
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250541
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