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Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy – PubMed

Apolone, G., Montomoli, E., Manenti, A., Boeri, M., Sabia, F., Hyseni, I., Mazzini, L., Martinuzzi, D., Cantone, L., Milanese, G., Sestini, S., Suatoni, P., Marchianò, A., Bollati, V., Sozzi, G., & Pastorino, U. (2020). Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy. Tumori, 300891620974755. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0300891620974755

Abstract

There are no robust data on the real onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and spread in the prepandemic period worldwide. We investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific antibodies in blood samples of 959 asymptomatic individuals enrolled in a prospective lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020 to track the date of onset, frequency, and temporal and geographic variations across the Italian regions. SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies were detected in 111 of 959 (11.6%) individuals, starting from September 2019 (14%), with a cluster of positive cases (>30%) in the second week of February 2020 and the highest number (53.2%) in Lombardy. This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy several months before the first patient was identified, and clarifies the onset and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finding SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in asymptomatic people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy may reshape the history of pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; Screening.

Source: Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy – PubMed