SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence around the world: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Med Res. 2022 Jun 2;27(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s40001-022-00710-2.


Background: Covid-19 has been one of the major concerns around the world in the last 2 years. One of the challenges of this disease has been to determine its prevalence. Conflicting results of the serology test in Covid explored the need for an updated meta-analysis on this issue. Thus, this systematic review aimed to estimate the prevalence of global SARS-CoV-2 serology in different populations and geographical areas.

Methods: To identify studies evaluating the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2, a comprehensive literature search was performed from international databases, including Medline (PubMed), Web of Sciences, Scopus, EMBASE, and CINHAL.

Results: In this meta-analysis, the results showed that SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence is between 3 and 15% worldwide. In Eastern Mediterranean, the pooled estimate of seroprevalence SARS-CoV-2 was 15% (CI 95% 5-29%), and in Africa, the pooled estimate was 6% (CI 95% 1-13%). In America, the pooled estimate was 8% (CI 95% 6-11%), and in Europe, the pooled estimate was 5% (CI 95% 4-6%). Also the last region, Western Pacific, the pooled estimate was 3% (CI 95% 2-4%). Besides, we analyzed three of these areas separately. This analysis estimated the prevalence in subgroups such as study population, diagnostic methods, sampling methods, time, perspective, and type of the study.

Conclusion: The present meta-analysis showed that the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 has been between 3 and 15% worldwide. Even considering the low estimate of this rate and the increasing vaccination in the world, many people are still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: Covid-19; Global seroprevalence; Meta-analysis; SARS-CoV-2; Serum antibodies (IgG and/or IgM); Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • PubMed
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Vaccination