What proportion of the population of Spain has developed antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 infection?

Laboratory, Medical, Medicine, Hand, Research, Lab

Bottom Line:

Only approximately 5% of the Spanish population has developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 after the initial epidemic wave.


Pollán, M. et al. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain (ENE-COVID): a nationwide, population-based seroepidemiological study. The Lancet (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(20)31483-5

Date Published:

6 July 2020


Spain was one of the European countries most affected by the initial COVID-19 epidemic wave. In order to determine what percentage of the population developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) during that time, a random sample of the Spanish population answered a questionnaire on basic clinical and demographic characteristics, received a point-of-care antibody test, and donated blood samples for an immunoassay. The seroprevalence (i.e. percentage of population with antibodies) was 5% based on the point-of-care test and 4.6% based on the immunoassay. Even in hotspot areas like Madrid, the seroprevalence was just over 10%. The results of this study suggest that even after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, countries are far from developing herd immunity, and public health measures and/or a vaccine will be needed in order to avoid another epidemic wave.

Summary by: Louis Huynh