Article ID: JE20210324
Background: Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a densely populated city of >13 million people, so the population is at high risk of epidemic severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. A serologic survey of anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG would provide valuable data for assessing the city’s SARS-CoV-2 infection status. Therefore, this cross-sectional study estimated the anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence in Tokyo.
Methods: Leftover serum of 23,234 hospital visitors was tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 using an iFlash 3000 chemiluminescence immunoassay analyzer (Shenzhen YHLO Biotech, Shenzhen, China) with an iFlash–SARS-CoV-2 IgG kit (YHLO) and iFlash–SARS-CoV-2 IgG-S1 kit (YHLO). Serum samples with a positive result (≥10 AU/mL) in either of these assays were considered seropositive for anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Participants were randomly selected from patients visiting 14 Tokyo hospitals between September 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. No participants were diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and none exhibited COVID-19-related symptoms at the time of blood collection.
Results: The overall anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence among all participants was 1.83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.66–2.01%). The seroprevalence in March 2021, the most recent month of this study, was 2.70% (95% CI, 2.16–3.34%). After adjusting for population age, sex, and region, the estimated seroprevalence in Tokyo was 3.40%, indicating that 470,778 individuals had a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Conclusions: The estimated number of individuals in Tokyo with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 3.9-fold higher than the number of confirmed cases. Our study enhances understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Tokyo.