Background. Betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has spread in early 2020 worldwide just in several months. The official statistics are consistently collected, but this is mainly based on symptomatic reports. This study was aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Lithuanian population.
Materials and methods. Study was conducted during August–September 2020 in 6 municipalities of Lithuania. The sample comprised 3087 adult participants from the general population (mean age 53.7 years, 64% female). SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were assessed using AMP IgM/IgG Rapid Test, other data were based on self-report. Seroprevalence was assessed as a crude estimate and as adjusted by sensitivity-specificity of the test.
Results. The crude seroprevalence in the total sample was 1.9%, the adjusted – 1.4%, ranging from 0.8% to 2.4% across municipalities. Among seroprevalent cases, 67.2% had IgG, 29.3% had IgM, and 3.5% had both IgG and IgM. An increased risk for seropositive test was observed among people who reported having had close contacts with SARS-CoV-2 positives (OR=5.49, p<0.001). At the borderline significance were female gender (OR=1.75, p=0.082) and non-smoking status (OR=2.95, p=0.072). Among the seropositive participants, 69.0% reported having had no COVID-19 symptoms since 1 March 2020, while 31.0% reported having had at least one of the symptoms.
Conclusions. The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Lithuanian sample in August–September 2020 was 1.4%, ranging from 0.8% to 2.4% across municipalities. Given the overall official data, by the end of study (11 September 2020) the total COVID-19 rate in Lithuania was 117.5 per 100,000 population or 0.12%. This suggests more than 10 times higher prevalence of virus across the population than the official estimates.
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