SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in a strictly-Orthodox Jewish community in the UK: A retrospective cohort study

Katherine Gaskell, Marina Johnson, Victoria Gould, Adam Hunt, Neil Stone, Ben Kasstan, William Waites, Tracey Chantler, Sham Lal, Roberts Chrissy, David Goldblatt, Rosalind Eggo, Michael Marks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnic and religious minorities have been disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. The UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish community has been severely affected by the pandemic. This group shares characteristics with other ethnic minorities including larger family sizes, higher rates of household crowding and relative socioeconomic deprivation. We studied a UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish population to understand transmission of COVID-19 within this community. We performed a household-focused cross-sectional SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey between late-October and early December 2020 prior to the third national lockdown. Randomly-selected households completed a standardised questionnaire and underwent serological testing with a multiplex assay for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. We report clinical illness and testing before the serosurvey, seroprevalence stratified by age and sex. We used random-effects models to identify factors associated with infection and antibody titres.A total of 343 households, consisting of 1,759 individuals, were recruited. Serum was available for 1,242 participants. The overall seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 was 64.3% (95% CI 61.6-67.0%). The lowest seroprevalence was 27.6% in children under 5 years and rose to 73.8% in secondary school children and 74% in adults. Antibody titres were higher in symptomatic individuals and declined over time since reported COVID-19 symptoms, with the decline more marked for nucleocapsid titres.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Early online date18 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Structured keywords

  • Covid19


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus


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