Background: There is a scarcity of information about patients with mild or moderate symptoms during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is especially true for those who attended and were followed up at primary care settings.
Objectives: We aim to measure the seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community sample of possible cases and among probable cases followed in primary care.
Methods: We selected a random sample of 600 individuals stratified by age groups from a total population of 19 899 individuals from a community area in Barcelona. We also invited all the patients that had been followed by General Practitioners (GPs). For both populations, we used COVID-19 rapid lateral flow immunoassays, which qualitatively assess the presence of patient-generated Immunoglobulins G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM).
Results: Three hundred and eleven asymptomatic individuals from the randomly selected sample participated in the study. The mean age was 43.7 years [standard deviation (SD) = 21.79] and 55% were women. Seventeen individuals were seropositive for IgM and/or IgG, resulting in an overall prevalence of 5.47% (95% confidence interval = 3.44-8.58). Six hundred and thirty-four symptomatic patients were followed up by GPs. The mean age was 46.97 years (SD = 20.05) and 57.73% were women. Of these, 244 patients (38.49%) were seropositive. Results of the multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the odds ratio for a positive test was significantly increased in patients who had fever, ageusia and contact with a patient diagnosed with COVID-19.
Conclusions: The seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among possible cases was lower than expected. Approximately, 40% of the symptomatic patients followed up by GPs during the peak months of the pandemic were positive.
Keywords: General practice; infectious diseases; practice management; primary care; public health; screening.
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