Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the general population of Oman: results from four successive nationwide sero-epidemiological surveys

Seif Salem Al-Abri*, Adil Al-Wahaibi, Hanan Al-Kindi, Padmamohan J. Kurup, Ali Al-Maqbali, Zayid Al-Mayahi, Mohammed Hamed Al-Tobi, Salim Habbash Al-Katheri, Sultan Albusaidi, Mahmood Humaid Al-Sukaiti, Ahmed Yar Mohammed Al Balushi, Iyad Omer Abdelgadir, Nawal Al-Shehi, Essam Morkos, Amal Al-Maani, Bader Al-Rawahi, Fatma Alyaquobi, Abdullah Alqayoudhi, Khalid Al-Harthy, Sulien Al-KhaliliAzza Al-Rashdi, Intisar Al-Shukri, Thamra S. Al Ghafri, Fatma Al-Hashmi, Saeed Mussalam Al Jassasi, Nasser Alshaqsi, Nilanjan Mitra, Humaid Suhail Al Aamry, Parag Shah, Hanan Hassan Al Marbouai, Amany Hamed Al Araimi, Ismail Mohammed Kair, Asim Mohammed Al Manji, Ahmed Said Almallak, Fatma Khamis Al Alawi, Vidyanand Vaidya, Muhammad Muqeetullah, Hanan Alrashdi, Saud Said Nassir Al Jamoudi, Asila Alshaqsi, Abdullah Al Sharji, Hamida Al Shukeiri, Badr Al-Abri, Sulaiman Al-Rawahi, Said H. Al-Lamki, Abdulla Al-Manji, Amina Al-Jardani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Oman and longitudinal changes in antibody levels over time within the first 11 months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: This nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted as a four-cycle serosurvey using a multi-stage stratified sampling method from July to November 2020. A questionnaire was used and included demographics, history of acute respiratory infection and list of symptoms, COVID-19 contact, previous diagnosis or admission, travel history and risk factors. Results: In total, 17,457 participants were surveyed. Thirty percent were female and 66.3% were Omani. There was a significant increase in seroprevalence throughout the study cycles, from 5.5% (4.8–6.2%) in Cycle 1 to 22% (19.6–24.6%) in Cycle 4. There was no difference in seroprevalence between genders, but significant differences were found between age groups. There was a transition of seroprevalence from being higher in non-Omanis than Omanis in Cycle 1 [9.1% (7.6–10.9%) vs 3.2% (2.6–3.9%)] to being higher in Omanis than non-Omanis in Cycle 4 [24.3% (21.0–27.9%) vs 16.8% (14.9–18.9%)]. There was remarkable variation in the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 according to governorate. Close contacts of people with COVID-19 had a 96% higher risk of having the disease [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.96, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.64–2.34]. Labourers had 58% higher risk of infection compared with office workers (AOR 1.58, 95% CI 1.04–2.35). Conclusion: This study showed a wide variation in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 across governorates in Oman, with higher estimated seroprevalence in migrants in the first two cycles. Prevalence estimates remain low and are insufficient to provide herd immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Antibody seroprevalence
  • COVID-19
  • Herd immunity
  • Oman
  • Prevalence
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sero-epidemiological surveys
  • Serosurvey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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