The findings of The National COVID Antibody Survey

Epicentre News • 01 Feb 2022

It’s official, the findings are out! This groundbreaking study was done in 2 waves in South Africa. We tested people between November 2020 to February 2021 and again in April to June 2021. We visited all 9 provinces and tested 13 734 people in 6 540 homes.

Overview of the Study’s Conclusions:

  • These findings support testing strategies that test people who have a known exposure or are experiencing symptoms
  • The estimated number of infections was 6.5 times higher than the recorded number of COVID-19 cases. This suggests that the country’s testing strategy and capacity is an important contributing factor explaining the dynamics of the pandemic.
  • It was found that it is essential to strengthen healthcare systems testing capacity in order to contain the spread of the virus.
  • Among the those tested for neutralization, less than two thirds neutralized the D614G (variant detected in July 2020) and the Beta (variant detected in December 2020) strains, showing the importance of getting the vaccine
  • Neutralization means that the vaccine made the virus particles no longer infectious or pathogenic

An Overview of The Study’s Results

Overview of the Study’s Results:

  • The COVID-19 prevalence using the Euroimmun assay antibody test was higher (19.6% of those tested) than the estimates obtained using the Abbott assay antibody test (16.6% of those tested).
  • COVID prevalence was higher in the Free State (26.8%), Eastern Cape (26.0%)
  • And lower in Mpumalanga (13.6%) and Limpopo (11.6%).
  • In the study time period, prevalence estimates were highest in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) (29.0%), Nelson Mandela Bay (26.0%) and the City of Cape Town (25.4%) metropolitan areas.
  • The estimated number of infections at the end of the survey period was 8 675 265 (95%).
  • You were more likely to be positive if you were female, and if you had hypertension
  • While those aged 18-35 years had lower odds of being positive compared to those aged 12-17 years.
  • Of the 316 samples tested for neutralizing antibodies, 59% neutralized both the D614G (variant detected in July 2020) and the Beta (variant detected in December 2020) COVID virus strains.