Seroprevalence of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Guangdong Province, China between March to June 2020


Xiao Cheng,Leung Nancy Hiu LanORCID,Cheng Yating,Lei Hui,Ling Shiman,Lin Xia,Tao Ran,Huang Xianzhong,Guan Wenda,Yang Zifeng,Cowling Benjamin John,Zanin MarkORCID,Wong Sook-San


Guangdong province, located in South China, is an important economic hub with a large domestic migrant population and was among the earliest areas to report COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan. We conducted a cross-sectional, age-stratified serosurvey to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after the emergence of COVID-19 in Guangdong. We tested 14,629 residual serum samples that were submitted for clinical testing from 21 prefectures between March and June 2020 for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a magnetic particle based chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay and validated the results using a pseudovirus neutralization assay. We found 21 samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG, resulting in an estimated age- and sex-weighted seroprevalence of 0.15% (95% CI: 0.06–0.24%). The overall age-specific seroprevalence was 0.07% (95% CI: 0.01–0.24%) in persons up to 9 years old, 0.22% (95% CI: 0.03–0.79%) in persons aged 10–19, 0.16% (95% CI: 0.07–0.33%) in persons aged 20–39, 0.13% (95% CI: 0.03–0.33%) in persons aged 40–59 and 0.18% (95% CI: 0.07–0.40%) in persons ≥60 years old. Fourteen (67%) samples had pseudovirus neutralization titers to S-protein, suggesting most of the IgG-positive samples were true-positives. Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was low, indicating that there were no hidden epidemics during this period. Vaccination is urgently needed to increase population immunity to SARS-CoV-2.


Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health Open Project (Funds provided by China Evergrande Group) - Project No.




Infectious Diseases,Microbiology (medical),General Immunology and Microbiology,Molecular Biology,Immunology and Allergy

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