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Ah-Ra Kim 2 Articles
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the community based on participants in the 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Ah-Ra Kim, Dohsik Minn, Su Hwan Kim, Hyeon Nam Do, Byoungguk Kim, Young Sill Choi, Dong-Hyun Kim, Eun-Jee Oh, Kyungwon Oh, Donghyok Kwon, Jun-Wook Kwon, Sung Soon Kim, June-Woo Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022028.   Published online February 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022028
  • 4,335 View
  • 337 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) is a nationwide cross-sectional surveillance system that assesses the health and nutritional status of the Korean population. To evaluate the occurrence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the community, we investigated the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the sera of KNHANES participants.
METHODS
Subjects were recruited between April 24 and December 12, 2020. In total, 5,284 subjects aged 10-90 years from 17 regions participated. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were screened using the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. Positive samples were verified using 4 different SARS-CoV-2 antibody assays and the plaque reduction neutralizing test. The final seropositivity criteria were a positive screening test and at least 1 positive result from the 5 additional tests.
RESULTS
Almost half (49.2%; 2,600/5,284) of participants were from metropolitan areas, 48.9% were middle-aged (40-69 years), and 20.5% were in their 20s or younger. The seropositivity rate was 0.09% (5/5,284). Three of the 5 antibody-positive subjects had a history of infection, of whom 2 were infected abroad and 1 was infected in a local cluster outbreak.
CONCLUSIONS
The low SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in Korea indicates that there have been few coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases due to successful COVID-19 management measures (e.g., diagnostic tests for overseas arrivals, national social distancing, and strict quarantine measures). Moreover, asymptomatic infections were uncommon due to active polymerase chain reaction testing. However, hidden infections may exist in the community, requiring the continuation of quarantine and vaccination measures.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19에 대한 방역대책 및 예방접종 정책 수립을 위한 과학적 근거를 확보하기 위하여 2020년도 국민건강영양조사(이하 국건영) 참여자 5,284명에 대해 코로나19 항체보유율을 조사함. 그 결과 2020년도 국건영 참여자의 항체양성률은 0.09%(5/5,284)였으며, 이중 확진 이력이 있는 사람은 3명이었음. 따라서 지역사회 미진단 감염자는 2명으로 확인됨. 국내 항체보유율은 해외 사례에 비해 낮으며, 이는 적극적인 방역관리에 따른 것으로 사료되며, 지역사회에 미진단 감염자가 존재함이 확인되어 이들에 대한 철저한 관리가 요구됨.
Key Message
The low SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in Korea indicates that there have been few COVID-19 cases due to successful management measures, however, hidden infections may exist in the community, requiring the continuation of quarantine and vaccination measures.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Accelerated Cognitive Function Decline in Community-Dwelling Older Adults during COVID-19 Pandemic: The Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS)
    Jaehoon Jung, Sunyoung Kim, Byungsung Kim, Miji Kim, Jisoo Yang, Dongmin Chung, Changwon Won
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2022; 19(17): 10666.     CrossRef
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during the third wave of COVID-19 in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea
Kyuhyun Yoon, Jayeun Kim, Kyong Ran Peck, Hyun Soo Kim, Hyukmin Lee, Yoo-Sung Hwang, Soon Young Lee, Sung-il Cho, Hun Jae Lee, Yeong-gyeong Kim, Byoungguk Kim, June-Woo Lee, Ah-Ra Kim, Hyeon Nam Do, Dong-Hyun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022085.   Published online September 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022085
  • 792 View
  • 82 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
After the third wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by mid-February 2021, approximately 0.16% of the Korean population was confirmed positive, which appeared to be among the lowest rates worldwide at that time. However, asymptomatic transmission is challenging for COVID-19 surveillance. Therefore, a community-based serosurvey of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was conducted to understand the effectiveness of Korea’s strong containment strategy.
METHODS
We collected 5,002 residual sera samples from January 30 to March 3, 2021, from 265 medical facilities in Seoul, 346 in Gyeonggi Province, and 57 in Incheon. Sixty samples from tertiary institutions were excluded. We defined the sub-regions according to the addresses of the medical facilities where the specimens were collected. Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 was used for screening, and positivity was confirmed using the SARS-CoV-2 sVNT Kit. Prevalence was estimated using sampling weights and the Wilson score interval for a binomial proportion with a 95% confidence interval.
RESULTS
Among the 4,942 specimens, 32 and 25 tested positive for COVID-19 in the screening and confirmatory tests, respectively. The overall crude prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 0.51%. The population-adjusted overall prevalence was 0.55% in women and 0.38% in men. The region-specific estimation was 0.67% and 0.30% in Gyeonggi Province and Seoul, respectively. No positive cases were detected in Incheon.
CONCLUSIONS
The proportion of undetected cases in Korea remained low as of early 2021. Therefore, an infection control strategy with exhaustive tracing and widespread pre-emptive testing appears to be effective in containing community spread of COVID-19.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19바이러스 감염병(COVID-19)의 한국 내 3차 대유행기인 2020년 말 이후, 2021년 1월 우리나라 인구의 약 0.16%가 누적 확진되었으며, 이는 세계에서 매우 낮은 비율을 보이는 국가 중 하나였습니다. 그러나 COVID-19의 무증상 전파는 감염 확산방지와 감시체계에 문제점들을 초래할 수 있어 지역사회 기반 혈청 조사를 통해 그 현황을 파악했습니다. 2021년 1월 30일부터 3월 3일까지 서울, 경기, 인천 등 수도권 소재 1, 2차 의료기관에서 수집된 혈액검체의 잔여혈청표본 4942개에 대해 Roche사의 Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2를 이용한 1차 항체검사와, GenScript의 SARS-CoV-2 sVNT Kit를 이용하여 2차 중화항체유무를 확인하였다. 4942명의 검체 중 1차 검사와 2차 중화항체검사에서 각각 32명과 25명이 항체 양성이었다. SARS-CoV-2 항체의 전체 수도권 조유병률은 0.51%였습니다. 인구의 연령보정 전체 유병률은 0.47%였으며, 성별로는 여성에서 0.55%, 남성에서 0.38%였습니다. 지역별 추정치는 경기도와 서울이 각각 0.67%와 0.30%였고, 인천에서는 양성사례가 발견되지 않았습니다. 한국의 미발견 사례 비율은 누적 확진율의 3배에 달하지만, 여전히 1% 미만으로 ​​낮습니다. 철저한 추적과 광범위한 선제적 검사를 통한 감염 관리 전략이 지역사회에서 바이러스 확산을 억제하는 데 효과적이었던 것으로 보입니다.
Key Message
Around February 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test was conducted on the residual serum of adults (≥19 years) collected from primary and secondary medical institutions in the metropolitan area in South Korea. The estimated overall prevalence was 0.60% in the electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) detecting IgG against the nucleocapsid protein and 0.47% for the neutralization antibody. The positivity of the confirmed test using surrogate neutralizing antibodies was only 78% of the ECLIA’s results. For prevention and control measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections and new variants emerge, serosurvey targeting community-dwelling people is needed to understand the changing status in the community.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health