United States researchers have found antibodies against COVID-19 in blood samples dating back to mid-December 2019, weeks before the country’s first officially confirmed infections of the disease.
In a study conducted by scientists from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, residual archived samples from 7,389 routine blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from December 13, 2019, to January 17, 2020.
The study added that the samples were from donors resident in nine states and were tested at the CDC for anti-Coronavirus antibodies.
Out of the 7,389 samples collected from the states of California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin, 106 were reactive by pan-immunoglobulin.
Further confirmation testing of 90 samples suggests the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2-reactive antibodies.
Specimens collected on Dec. 13 and December 16, 2019, and those collected between December 30, 2019, to January 17, 2020, were summarised separately.
The results of the research were published late in November on the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.