SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in three Kenyan health and demographic surveillance sites, December 2020-May 2021

Etyang AO, Adetifa I, Omore R, Misore T, Ziraba AK, Ng'oda MA, Gitau E, Gitonga J, Mugo D, Kutima B, Karanja H, Toroitich M, Nyagwange J, Tuju J, Wanjiku P, Aman R, Amoth P, Mwangangi M, Kasera K, Ng'ang'a W, Akech D, Sigilai A, Karia B, Karani A, Voller S, Agoti CN, Ochola-Oyier LI, Otiende M, Bottomley C, Nyaguara A, Uyoga S, Gallagher K, Kagucia EW, Onyango D, Tsofa B, Mwangangi J, Maitha E, Barasa E, Bejon P, Warimwe GM, Scott JAG, Agweyu A
PLOS Glob Public Health. 2022;2

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BACKGROUND: Most of the studies that have informed the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya have relied on samples that are not representative of the general population. We conducted population-based serosurveys at three Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs) to determine the cumulative incidence of infection with SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We selected random age-stratified population-based samples at HDSSs in Kisumu, Nairobi and Kilifi, in Kenya. Blood samples were collected from participants between 01 Dec 2020 and 27 May 2021. No participant had received a COVID-19 vaccine. We tested for IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using ELISA. Locally-validated assay sensitivity and specificity were 93% (95% CI 88-96%) and 99% (95% CI 98-99.5%), respectively. We adjusted prevalence estimates using classical methods and Bayesian modelling to account for the sampling scheme and assay performance. RESULTS: We recruited 2,559 individuals from the three HDSS sites, median age (IQR) 27 (10-78) years and 52% were female. Seroprevalence at all three sites rose steadily during the study period. In Kisumu, Nairobi and Kilifi, seroprevalences (95% CI) at the beginning of the study were 36.0% (28.2-44.4%), 32.4% (23.1-42.4%), and 14.5% (9.1-21%), and respectively; at the end they were 42.0% (34.7-50.0%), 50.2% (39.7-61.1%), and 24.7% (17.5-32.6%), respectively. Seroprevalence was substantially lower among children (<16 years) than among adults at all three sites (p