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The second round of a population-based seroprevalence study of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and the assessment of COVID-19 vaccination in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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  • Jela Acimovic,
  • Biljana Mijović,
  • Srđan Mašić,
  • Miroslav Petkovic,
  • Dragana Puhalo Sladoje,
  • Darija Knežević,
  • Jelena Đaković Dević,
  • Dragan Spaić,
  • Jelena Vladićić Mašić,
  • Dejan Bokonjić,
  • Mirza Palo,
  • Aisling VAUGHAN,
  • Richard Pebody,
  • Anthony Nardone,
  • Ranko Škrbić
Jela Acimovic
Public Health Institute of the Republic of Srpska

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Biljana Mijović
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Srđan Mašić
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Miroslav Petkovic
University of Banja Luka
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Dragana Puhalo Sladoje
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Darija Knežević
University of Banja Luka
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Jelena Đaković Dević
Public Health Institute of the Republic of Srpska
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Dragan Spaić
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Jelena Vladićić Mašić
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Dejan Bokonjić
University of East Sarajevo Medical Faculty
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Mirza Palo
World Health Organization Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Aisling VAUGHAN
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe
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Richard Pebody
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe
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Anthony Nardone
Epiconcept SAS
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Ranko Škrbić
University of Banja Luka
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Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the study was to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, after five waves of COVID-19 and one year after introduction of vaccination to better understand the true extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and role of vaccination in achieving herd immunity. Methods: The population-based study was conducted from December 2021 to February 2022 in a group of 4,463 individuals from the Republika Srpska. Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were determined in serum specimens using the Wantai total antibody ELISA assay and Kantaro Quantitative IgG assays. Results: The overall cumulative seroprevalence was 94.6%. Of all participants, 61.3% were vaccinated against COVID-19. Significantly higher seroprevalence rates were observed among vaccinated participants. Among various professions, the highest seroprevalence was found in the service industry (98.1%), education (98.0%) and healthcare (96.9%). This study found that 2.2% of vaccinated participants, and 3.6% of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 positivity during 2021, had no detectable IgG antibodies. Both seroprevalence and antibody titres were significantly higher in people with hybrid immunity. Conclusion: Our findings reveal a 2,3-fold increase in seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies due to infection and vaccination, comparing to the first study performed one year earlier. This study provides better understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission and highlights the important role of the vaccination in achieving the population immunity. Periodically conducted population-based seroprevalence studies are important for assessment of surveillance system performance and public compliance with vaccination policies. Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, seroprevalence, population-based study, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNITY, SEROPREV.
03 Oct 2023Submitted to Influenza and other respiratory viruses
05 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
05 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
19 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned