Published Tuesday, September 8, 2020 6:07PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 9, 2020 5:24AM EDT
Canadian Blood Services and Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) released its final results of a collaborative nine-province SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study on Tuesday, which analyzed more than 37,300 blood samples from across Canada, except for Quebec and the Territories.
Overall, fewer than one per cent of Canadians had antibodies for the virus based on the results.
The samples were collected between May 9 and June 18 and revealed that as few as 0.7 per cent of Canadian adult blood donors tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19.
“...These results once again tell us how few Canadians were infected by SARS-CoV-2 by the end of May,” Professor Catherine Hankins, CITF co-chair, said in a press release. “This shows that when all actors, especially individual citizens, follow good public health practices, the risk of infection diminishes considerably,” she added.
According to the report, antibodies are a key indicator of past infection from the virus and can generally be detected within two weeks.
Of the 37,737 samples collected, slightly over half were from male donors and the majority of donors were between 40 to 59 years old.
More than 19,800 samples were taken from Ontario, followed by 5,644 from Alberta and 4,962 from British Columbia.
As per each region included in the study, the results pointed to low seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in all provinces and cities across Canada.
The report noted that seroprevalence was slightly higher in Ontario compared with other provinces and there was slightly higher seroprevalence among females compared with males, but ultimately there was no difference between age groups.