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Abstract

Background

Since March 2020, 440 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but the true number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 is higher. SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence can add crucial epidemiological information about population infection dynamics.

Aim

To provide a large population-based SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence survey from Norway; we estimated SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence before introduction of vaccines and described its distribution across demographic groups.

Methods

In this population-based cross-sectional study, a total of 110,000 people aged 16 years or older were randomly selected during November–December 2020 and invited to complete a questionnaire and provide a dried blood spot (DBS) sample.

Results

The response rate was 30% (31,458/104,637); compliance rate for return of DBS samples was 88% (27,700/31,458). National weighted and adjusted seroprevalence was 0.9% (95% CI (confidence interval): 0.7–1.0). Seroprevalence was highest among those aged 16–19 years (1.9%; 95% CI: 0.9–2.9), those born outside the Nordic countries 1.4% (95% CI: 1.0–1.9), and in the counties of Oslo 1.7% (95% CI: 1.2–2.2) and Vestland 1.4% (95% CI: 0.9–1.8). The ratio of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (0.9%) to cumulative incidence of virologically detected cases by mid-December 2020 (0.8%) was slightly above one. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was low before introduction of vaccines in Norway and was comparable to virologically detected cases, indicating that most cases in the first 10 months of the pandemic were detected.

Conclusion

Findings suggest that preventive measures including contact tracing have been effective, people complied with physical distancing recommendations, and local efforts to contain outbreaks have been essential.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.13.2100376
2022-03-31
2022-08-14
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.13.2100376
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