2.5% healthcare workers, 3.8% people show antibodies against SARS CoV-2, COVID in Srinagar: Study

Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar has completed the study to estimate Seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among health care workers and general population of Srinagar.

The study was conducted by Department of Community Medicine in collaboration with Department of Biochemistry, GMC. Healthcare workers from all eight associated hospitals of the GMC, Government Dental College Srinagar, District Hospital Srinagar, and nine other Sub-District Hospitals, Primary Health Centers across Srinagar were invited to participate, said Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine and Principal Investigator of the studies. “A total of 2914 blood samples of health care providers were analyzed for presence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 using Chemiluminescent Microparticle Immunoassay (CMIA) by Abbott Laboratories,” said Dr Sabiya Majid, HOD Biochemistry and Co-Principal Investigator. Dr Inaam ul Haq, Assistant Professor, Community Medicine and co-principal investigator said 72 HCWs were positive for IgG against SARS-CoV-2 giving a prevalence of 2.5%.

Among HCWs who participated in the study, the prevalence was 2.7% among male HCWs and 2.1% among female HCWs. The IgG positives included 27 doctors, nine nurses, 10 technicians, two ambulance drivers, and eight hospital security staff among others. 339 HCWs reported to have at least one contact with a known SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) positive case,” he said. To estimate prevalence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in general population, 2923 blood samples were collected.

“The study revealed that 3.8% (111 persons) of the population had presence of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr Mariya Amin Qurieshi, Assistant Professor, Community Medicine and co principal investigator of the study. “If we apply this estimate to the current adult population of Srinagar, which is approximately just over 10 lakh, then the number of IgG positives in the district at the time of the survey was expected to be 38,000. Of the 111 IgG positives, 63 were males and 48 were females. The prevalence of IgG positives was 4.3% among males and 3.3% among females. 115 persons reported to have Influenza-like symptoms in the four weeks prior to the survey and of them 12.2% showed presence of IgG antibodies,” said Dr Khan. The results of this seroprevalence study show that on an average, 3.8% people in Srinagar have been infected with SARS-CoV-2. “Given the current scenario of positive cases emerging from the district, it is expected that the seroprevalence may further increase in the near future as more and more individuals become infected and develop antibodies against the virus,” said Dr Samia Rashid, Principal GMC Srinagar who mentored the studies. The study on health care providers is the first of its kind in the country and only few states/ UT have conducted community based study.