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Dohsik Minn 1 Article
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
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to this article as recorded by  
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    Epidemiology and Health.2022; 44: e2022085.     CrossRef

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