The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in patients on hemodialysis |
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The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in patients on hemodialysis
eMediNexus,  23 January 2021
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It has been established that the hemodialysis population is at an increased risk for contracting the infection due to patient characteristics, environmental characteristics, and procedural lapses. It has been proposed that extra healthcare measures should be taken in the dialysis unit considering all patients as COVID-19 suspect in the resource-limited settings. In a new study, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was reported among a cross-section of patients on hemodialysis. The study uses a pragmatic approach to define the prevalence of the previous infection by testing antibodies to SARS—CoV-2 in routinely collected blood from randomly sampled patients on hemodialysis across the USA. Since these patients already undergo blood tests every month to assess dialysis adequacy and management of kidney failure complications, so their blood can be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies without venepuncture. The study reported that 8.0% of tested patients were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The results were in sync with those of other international research in the general population.

An Indian study reported a prevalence rate of COVID-19 in 6.4%. It also revealed that patients with COPD needing ICU care, and those on ventilation had poor outcomes.

This research has shown the huge potential of monitoring infectious disease prevalence in dialysis populations, however, given the intensity of interest in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence for policy making and public health messaging. Such surveillance provides invaluable information on asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients on hemodialysis to better understand local outbreaks and provide directions for prevention in this vulnerable patient group.


  1. Mahalingasivam V, Tomlinosn L. The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in patients on hemodialysis. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2020.
  2. Deshpande R, Dash S, Bahadur MM, Thamba A, Pathan AK, Dave K, Chaudhari C, Shringare A, Patil A. Study of COVID-19 pandemic in representative dialysis population across Mumbai, India: An observational multicentric analysis. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India. 2020; 68. Accessed from
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