Strategies to Estimate Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in a Texas Vulnerable Population: Results From Phase I of the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey

Front Public Health. 2021 Dec 14;9:753487. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.753487. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and immunity remains uncertain in populations. The state of Texas ranks 2nd in infection with over 2.71 million cases and has seen a disproportionate rate of death across the state. The Texas CARES project was funded by the state of Texas to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody status in children and adults. Identifying strategies to understand natural as well as vaccine induced antibody response to COVID-19 is critical. Materials and Methods: The Texas CARES (Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey) is an ongoing prospective population-based convenience sample from the Texas general population that commenced in October 2020. Volunteer participants are recruited across the state to participate in a 3-time point data collection Texas CARES to assess antibody response over time. We use the Roche Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immunoassay to determine SARS-CoV-2 antibody status. Results: The crude antibody positivity prevalence in Phase I was 26.1% (80/307). The fully adjusted seroprevalence of the sample was 31.5%. Specifically, 41.1% of males and 21.9% of females were seropositive. For age categories, 33.5% of those 18-34; 24.4% of those 35-44; 33.2% of those 45-54; and 32.8% of those 55+ were seropositive. In this sample, 42.2% (89/211) of those negative for the antibody test reported having had a COVID-19 test. Conclusions: In this survey we enrolled and analyzed data for 307 participants, demonstrating a high survey and antibody test completion rate, and ability to implement a questionnaire and SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing within clinical settings. We were also able to determine our capability to estimate the cross-sectional seroprevalence within Texas's federally qualified community centers (FQHCs). The crude positivity prevalence for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in this sample was 26.1% indicating potentially high exposure to COVID-19 for clinic employees and patients. Data will also allow us to understand sex, age and chronic illness variation in seroprevalence by natural and vaccine induced. These methods are being used to guide the completion of a large longitudinal survey in the state of Texas with implications for practice and population health.

Keywords: COVID-19; Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC); antibodies; health disparities; population methods.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibody Formation
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Young Adult