ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1536.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Republic of Belarus; population; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; seromonitoring; herd immunity; antibodies; nucleocapsid; receptor binding domain; vaccination; hybrid immunity
Online: 23 May 2023 (02:47:10 CEST)
Background. The course of the COVID-19 epidemic process depends on population immunity which prevents pathogen spread among the population. Aim: to study the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity in the Belarusian population relative to COVID-19 pandemic dynamics. Materials and methods. The work was carried out according to a methodology for assessing population immunity developed by Rospotrebnadzor (Russia) and the Belarusian Ministry of Health with the participation of the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute (SPPI), taking into account WHO recommendations. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of Belarus and the SPPI Bioethics Committee. Participant selection was carried out by questionnaire using a cloud (internet server) service. To monitor population immunity, a cohort of 4,661 people (participating in all stages of seromonitoring) was formed from the overall volunteer group. Volunteers were randomized by age group (1-17, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ years), region, and professional group. For the detection of antibodies (Abs) to nucleocapsid (Nc) and S glycoprotein receptor-binding domain (RBD), corresponding assay systems were used following manufacturer instructions. The study was conducted in 4 stages according to a single scheme. Results. In the 1st stage (pandemic month 15), collective immunity was due mainly to Nc+RBD+ Ab status alone. By the 2nd stage (carried out after 4 months), their share decreased 1.2-fold, while the share of volunteers who had only RBD Abs increased 1.7-fold. In the 3rd and 4th stages (carried out after 9 and 19 months), the share of persons with RBD+Nc‒ compared to the 2nd stage decreased by 3.5%; the proportion of persons with Nc+RBD‒ Abs increased by 1.5-fold. The most important factor in population immunity was vaccination of the population, the coverage of which reached 70% by the 4th stage. Among vaccines, the Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vector designs were used most often. The whole-virion, inactivated BIBP-CorV vaccine was used less often. Conclusion. The evolution of collective SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity included a set of changes in circulating Ab levels (Nc, RBD). The hybrid immunity formed helped to reduce the incidence to nearly zero.