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Journal Articles BMC Medical Research Methodology Year : 2023

Estimating the number of probable new SARS-CoV-2 infections among tested subjects from the number of confirmed cases

Abstract

Abstract Objectives In most African countries, confirmed COVID-19 case counts underestimate the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infection cases. We propose a multiplying factor to approximate the number of biologically probable new infections from the number of confirmed cases. Methods Each of the first thousand suspect (or alert) cases recorded in South Kivu (DRC) between 29 March and 29 November 2020 underwent a RT-PCR test and an IgM and IgG serology. A latent class model and a Bayesian inference method were used to estimate (i) the incidence proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infection using RT-PCR and IgM test results, (ii) the prevalence using RT-PCR, IgM and IgG test results; and, (iii) the multiplying factor (ratio of the incidence proportion on the proportion of confirmed –RT-PCR+– cases). Results Among 933 alert cases with complete data, 218 (23%) were RT-PCR+; 434 (47%) IgM+; 464 (~ 50%) RT-PCR+, IgM+, or both; and 647 (69%) either IgG + or IgM+. The incidence proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infection was estimated at 58% (95% credibility interval: 51.8–64), its prevalence at 72.83% (65.68–77.89), and the multiplying factor at 2.42 (1.95–3.01). Conclusions In monitoring the pandemic dynamics, the number of biologically probable cases is also useful. The multiplying factor helps approximating it.

Dates and versions

hal-04382523 , version 1 (09-01-2024)

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Ym Diarra, Pm Wimba, Pb Katchunga, J Bengehya, B Miganda, et al.. Estimating the number of probable new SARS-CoV-2 infections among tested subjects from the number of confirmed cases. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 2023, 23 (1), pp.272. ⟨10.1186/s12874-023-02077-2⟩. ⟨hal-04382523⟩
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