Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, risk factors for infection and associated symptoms in Geneva, Switzerland: a population-based study.

Richard, Aude; Wisniak, Ania; Perez-Saez, Javier; Garrison-Desany, Henri; Petrovic, Dusan; Piumatti, Giovanni; Baysson, Hélène; Picazio, Attilio; Pennacchio, Francesco; De Ridder, David; Chappuis, François; Vuilleumier, Nicolas; Low, Nicola; Hurst, Samia; Eckerle, Isabella; Flahault, Antoine; Kaiser, Laurent; Azman, Andrew S; Guessous, Idris and Stringhini, Silvia (2022). Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, risk factors for infection and associated symptoms in Geneva, Switzerland: a population-based study. Scandinavian journal of public health, 50(1), pp. 124-135. Sage 10.1177/14034948211048050

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Aims: To assess SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence over the first epidemic wave in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, as well as risk factors for infection and symptoms associated with IgG seropositivity. Methods: Between April and June 2020, former participants of a representative survey of the 20-74-year-old population of canton Geneva were invited to participate in the study, along with household members aged over 5 years. Blood samples were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G. Questionnaires were self-administered. We estimated seroprevalence with a Bayesian model accounting for test performance and sampling design. Results: We included 8344 participants, with an overall adjusted seroprevalence of 7.8% (95% credible interval 6.8-8.9). Seroprevalence was highest among 18-49 year-olds (9.5%), and lowest in 5-9-year-old children (4.3%) and individuals >65 years (4.7-5.4%). Odds of seropositivity were significantly reduced for female retirees and unemployed men compared to employed individuals, and smokers compared to non-smokers. We found no significant association between occupation, level of education, neighborhood income and the risk of being seropositive. The symptom most strongly associated with seropositivity was anosmia/dysgeusia. Conclusions: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 population seroprevalence remained low after the first wave in Geneva. Socioeconomic factors were not associated with seropositivity in this sample. The elderly, young children and smokers were less frequently seropositive, although it is not clear how biology and behaviours shape these differences.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Low, Nicola


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2021 14:09

Last Modified:

28 Dec 2022 09:26

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

The first and second and final two authors contributed equally to this work.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 population-based survey seroprevalence socioeconomic risk factors




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