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Heui Sug Jo 1 Article
Korea Seroprevalence Study of Monitoring of SARS-COV-2 Antibody Retention and Transmission (K-SEROSMART): findings from national representative sample
Jina Han, Hye Jin Baek, Eunbi Noh, Kyuhyun Yoon, Jung Ae Kim, Sukhyun Ryu, Kay O Lee, No Yai Park, Eunok Jung, Sangil Kim, Hyukmin Lee, Yoo-Sung Hwang, Jaehun Jung, Hun Jae Lee, Sung-il Cho, Sangcheol Oh, Migyeong Kim, Chang-Mo Oh, Byengchul Yu, Young-Seoub Hong, Keonyeop Kim, Sun Jae Jung, Mi Ah Han, Moo-Sik Lee, Jung-Jeung Lee, Young Hwangbo, Hyeon Woo Yim, Yu-Mi Kim, Joongyub Lee, Weon-Young Lee, Jae-Hyun Park, Sungsoo Oh, Heui Sug Jo, Hyeongsu Kim, Gilwon Kang, Hae-Sung Nam, Ju-Hyung Lee, Gyung-Jae Oh, Min-Ho Shin, Soyeon Ryu, Tae-Yoon Hwang, Soon-Woo Park, Sang Kyu Kim, Roma Seol, Ki-Soo Park, Su Young Kim, Jun-wook Kwon, Sung Soon Kim, Byoungguk Kim, June-Woo Lee, Eun Young Jang, Ah-Ra Kim, Jeonghyun Nam, The Korea Community Health Survey Group, Soon Young Lee, Dong-Hyun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023075.   Published online August 17, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023075
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We estimated the population prevalence of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), including unreported infections, through a Korea Seroprevalence Study of Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Retention and Transmission (K-SEROSMART) in 258 communities throughout Korea.
METHODS
In August 2022, a survey was conducted among 10,000 household members aged 5 years and older, in households selected through two stage probability random sampling. During face-to-face household interviews, participants self-reported their health status, COVID-19 diagnosis and vaccination history, and general characteristics. Subsequently, participants visited a community health center or medical clinic for blood sampling. Blood samples were analyzed for the presence of antibodies to spike proteins (anti-S) and antibodies to nucleocapsid proteins (anti-N) SARS-CoV-2 proteins using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. To estimate the population prevalence, the PROC SURVEYMEANS statistical procedure was employed, with weighting to reflect demographic data from July 2022.
RESULTS
In total, 9,945 individuals from 5,041 households were surveyed across 258 communities, representing all basic local governments in Korea. The overall population-adjusted prevalence rates of anti-S and anti-N were 97.6% and 57.1%, respectively. Since the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency has reported a cumulative incidence of confirmed cases of 37.8% through July 31, 2022, the proportion of unreported infections among all COVID-19 infection was suggested to be 33.9%.
CONCLUSIONS
The K-SEROSMART represents the first nationwide, community-based seroepidemiologic survey of COVID-19, confirming that most individuals possess antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and that a significant number of unreported cases existed. Furthermore, this study lays the foundation for a surveillance system to continuously monitor transmission at the community level and the response to COVID-19.
Summary
Korean summary
인구집단을 기반으로 하여 대표성 있는 표본을 추출하여 COVID-19 항체유병률 조사를 전국적으로 수행함으로 지역사회 단위에서 지속적으로 모니터링할 수 있는 COVID-19 감시체계 구축의 기반을 마련하였다. 2022년 8월 우리나라 국민의 대부분이 COVID-19에 대한 항체를 보유하고 있었고 인구 3명 중 1명은 미확진 감염자로 추정되었다.
Key Message
The K-SEROSMART represents the first nationwide, community-based seroepidemiologic survey of COVID-19. In August 2022, most of the Korean people had antibodies to COVID-19, and one in three people was estimated to have an unreported infection. This study lays the foundation for a surveillance system to continuously monitor transmission at the community level and the response to COVID-19.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health