Women Have More Antibodies Than Men, Sero-positivity Higher Outside Slums: BMC Survey

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As Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-hit state by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brihanmubai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently conducted a third sero survey in Mumbai among other preventive measures undertaken to limit the spread of the virus. Overall 36.30% sero-positivity/IgG antibodies was found in 10,197 blood samples collected from citizens from across all 24 wards in the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation area.

Immunoglobulin-G (IgM) antibodies are produced by the immune system of the body in response to exposure to foreign elements like a virus. In a sero survey, citizens undergo blood tests to detect the presence of IgM antibodies which helps in identifying the individuals who were previously infected but had recovered from the virus.

The sero survey was conducted on blood samples of non-vaccinated individuals collected at municipal dispensaries and private laboratories in Mumbai. All the samples were tested at MCGM’s Molecular Biology Laboratory at Kasturba Hospital premises.

The first sero survey was conducted by the BMC in July 2020 in three wards whereas the second sero survey was conducted in August 2020 in same three wards. The third sero survey was conducted in March 2021 across all 24 wards.

Findings of the third sero survey are as follows:

1. According to the survey, women were found to have more antibodies than men. Sero positivity among women was 37.12% as against 35.02% in men.

2. The survey releaved that sero positivity was increasing in non-slum areas, while it was decreasing in slum areas. 41.6% sero positivity was found in the blood samples taken from municipal dispensaries in slum areas. Overall, 36.30% sero positivity was found in 10,197 blood samples collected from citizens from all wards. The first survey, conducted in July 2020, had found 57% sero positivity in slum areas while it was found to be 45% during the second sero survey.

3. Blood samples taken from private laboratories in non-slum areas showed sero positivity of 28.5% in the current survey. In the first survey, sero positivity in non-slum areas was 16% and during the second survey, it was 18%.

4. Based on the survey, it could be suggested that the vaccination campaign should be accelerated in order to limit the spread of the virus.

Covid-19 prevention measures and public awareness were being carried out on a large scale by the BMC. Citizens were being urged to help the civic body beat the virus by wearing masks at all times, maintaining physical distancing and following hand hygiene.

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