Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthy blood donors from the state of Tyrol, Austria, in summer 2020

Anita Siller, Gregor A. Wachter, Sabrina Neururer, Bernhard Erich Pfeifer, Bernhard Erich Pfeifer, Manfred Astl, Wegene Borena, Janine Kimpel, Sebastian Elmer, Franziska Spöck, Anja Vales, Annelies Mühlbacher, Manfred Gaber, Peter Willeit, Harald Schennach

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Background Seroepidemiological studies provide important insight into the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in our society. We aimed to determine seropositivity of SARSCoV-2 antibodies and its cross-sectional correlates in a large cohort of blood donors. Methods In this observational cohort study, we tested healthy blood donors residing in Tyrol, Austria, for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. We estimated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of seroprevalences using bootstrapping and tested for differences by participant characteristics using logistic regression. Findings Between 8 June and 4 September 2020, we screened 5345 healthy individuals at local blood donor sessions (mean age 42.7 years, SD 13.5 years, 46.7% female). Overall seroprevalence was 3.1% (95% CI 2.7–3.6%, 165 cases), which is 5.1-fold higher (95% CI 4.5–6.0%) than the case number identified by the health authorities in the state-wide testing program (0.6%; 4536 out of 757,634). Seroprevalence was higher in the district Landeck (16.6%, P< 0.001) and in individuals aged < 25 years (4.7%, P= 0.043), but did not differ by gender, blood types, or medication intake. The odds ratio for seropositivity was 2.51 for participants who had travelled to Ischgl (1.49–4.21, P= 0.001), 1.39 who had travelled to other federal states (1.00–1.93, P= 0.052), and 2.41 who had travelled abroad (1.61–3.63, P< 0.001). Compared to participants who had a suspected/confirmed SARSCoV-2 infection but were seronegative, seropositive participants more frequently reported loss of smell (odds ratio = 2.49, 1.32–4.68, P= 0.005) and taste (odds ratio = 2.76, 1.54–4.92, P= 0.001). Conclusion In summer 2020, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Tyrolean blood donors was 3.1%. Our study revealed regional variation and associations with young age, travel history and specific symptoms.
Seiten (von - bis)1272-1280
FachzeitschriftWiener Klinische Wochenschrift
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

Research Field

  • Exploration of Digital Health


  • Seropositivity
  • Covid-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Seroprevalence
  • Cross-sectional studies


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