Pune study shows seroprevalence of antibodies in 51.5 per cent samples


PTI, Aug 18, 2020, 3:14 PM IST

Pune: The city’s first serosurvey has found that 51.5 percent of the 1644 respondents from five highly-affected wards in the city have seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19 infection. A serological survey is done to detect the presence of specific antibodies and is used to assess the prevalence of a disease in the population.

Data from the Pune serosurvey was released on Monday, August 17. The survey had 1,664 respondents (all above 18 years) from the city’s five wards whose population is 3.66 lakh.

The survey was conducted by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in collaboration with Pune Municipal Corporation, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute at Faridabad, and Christian Medical College, Vellore.

Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said the survey was not comprehensive and two more serosurveys will be conducted with a larger sample size.

Dr. Arunab Ghose, associate professor, IISER, said 52.8 percent of men and 50.1 percent of women were found to have seroprevalence of antibodies.

“The survey found that people living in huts and tenements had higher seropositivity than those residing in apartments and bungalows,” he said.

He said that blood samples were collected from 1,664 people who were either asymptomatic or symptomatic but undetected (not tested) from areas like Yerwada, Kasba Peth, Rasta Peth, Lohiya Nagar (Kasewadi) and Navipeth (Parvati) which are high-incidence wards of the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Blood samples were collected between July 20 and August 5.

The survey also indicated a higher prevalence of seropositivity in users of shared toilets (62.3 percent) compared to users of independent toilets (45.3 percent).

“We found the presence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This indicates past infection but does not necessarily suggest immunity from subsequent infection,” he said.

Pune district reported 1,829 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the tally to 1,27,026. The death toll reached 3,104 with the death of 82 more patients.

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