Table 1 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain antibodies detection according to time of sample collection in all regions, Italy, Unexpected detection

by Paul Alexander

Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the prepandemic period in Italy, as early as September 2019 and thus likely summer 2019; this raises serious questions as to origin & timing (Apolone)

This paper is worth repeating as a post as it reveals an unusual and unexpected early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic persons in Italy months before the initial patients were identified. This raises questions as to origin and start of the pandemic.

‘SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific antibodies were detected in 111 of 959 (11.6%) individuals, starting from September 2019 (14%), with a cluster of positive cases (>30%) in the second week of February 2020 and the highest number (53.2%) in Lombardy. This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy several months before the first patient was identified, and clarifies the onset and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finding SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in asymptomatic people before the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy may reshape the history of pandemic.’