Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Serological Testing for COVID-19 in the Fertility Setting: The Lockdown Impact and Subsequent Dynamics Reflected in the Seroprevalence of Sars-Cov-2 Antibodies

Version 1 : Received: 31 December 2020 / Approved: 4 January 2021 / Online: 4 January 2021 (12:07:44 CET)

How to cite: Manolea, C.; capitanescu, A.; pop, A.; bors, R.; rugescu, I.; bechir, M.; mehedintu, C.; varlas, V. Serological Testing for COVID-19 in the Fertility Setting: The Lockdown Impact and Subsequent Dynamics Reflected in the Seroprevalence of Sars-Cov-2 Antibodies. Preprints 2021, 2021010024 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0024.v1). Manolea, C.; capitanescu, A.; pop, A.; bors, R.; rugescu, I.; bechir, M.; mehedintu, C.; varlas, V. Serological Testing for COVID-19 in the Fertility Setting: The Lockdown Impact and Subsequent Dynamics Reflected in the Seroprevalence of Sars-Cov-2 Antibodies. Preprints 2021, 2021010024 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0024.v1).

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic had profound negative effects on millions of couples affected by infertility and in need to resort to assisted reproductive technologies. There is no consensus over the optimal way and moment of screening triage-negative asymptomatic patients and staff. We present SARS-CoV-2 antibodies’ (IgM, IgG) seroprevalence in 516 triage-negative patients and 30 fertility care providers. The sampling for SARS-CoV-2 serological assays took place from the lockdown release throughout the second half of 2020 (17.05 - 01.12.2020). It revealed an increased seroprevalence of antibodies that closely followed the local epidemiology of COVID-19, with the highest rate of seropositivity coincident with the peak of the second wave. From 546 triage-negative individuals whose blood samples were assessed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 6% yielded positive results. The overall seroconversion rate was 2.8% for IgG and 5.1% for IgM. In the group with positive IgM, we observed a negative predictive value for IgM of 98.36% (95% CI: 88.79 – 99.78%), which is clinically meaningful. Serological testing of triage-negative patients up to seven days prior to the actual fertility procedure might avoid the more expensive and not more sensitive molecular testing currently being used for patient screening in most fertility units.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; COVID-19; infertility; lockdown; IVF; SARS-CoV-2 serological testing

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