Background. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 MESHD COVID-19 MESHD
pandemic, there is increasing global interest in the role of serological testing for population monitoring and to inform public policy. However, limitations in serological study designs and test standards raise concerns about the validity of seroprevalence estimates and their utility in decision-making. There is now a critical window of opportunity to learn from early SARS-CoV-2 serology studies. We aimed to synthesize the results of SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance projects from around the world and provide recommendations to improve the coordination, strategy, and methodology of future serosurveillance efforts. Methods. This was a rapid systematic review of cross-sectional and cohort studies reporting seroprevalence outcomes for SARS-CoV MESHD
2. We included completed, ongoing, and proposed serosurveys. The search included electronic databases (PubMed, MedRXIV, BioRXIV, and WHO ICTPR); five medical journals (NEJM, BMJ, JAMA HGNC
, The Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine); reports by governments, NGOs, and health systems; and media reports (Google News) from December 1, 2019 to May 1, 2020. We extracted data on study characteristics and critically appraised prevalence estimates using Joanna Briggs Institute criteria. Results. Seventy records met inclusion criteria, describing 73 studies. Of these, 23 reported prevalence estimates: eight preprints, 14 news articles, and one government report. These studies had a total sample size of 35,784 and reported 42 prevalence estimates. Seroprevalence estimates ranged from 0.4% to 59.3%. No estimates were found to have a low risk of bias (43% high risk, 21% moderate risk, 36% unclear). Fifty records reported characteristics of ongoing or proposed serosurveys. Overall, twenty countries have completed, ongoing, or proposed serosurveys. Discussion. Study design, quality, and prevalence estimates of early SARS-CoV2 serosurveys are heterogeneous, suggesting that the urgency to examine seroprevalence may have compromised methodological rigour. Based on the limitations of included studies, future serosurvey investigators and stakeholders should ensure that: i) serological tests used undergo high-quality independent evaluations that include cross-reactivity; ii) all reports of serosurvey results, including media, describe the test used, sample size, and sampling method; and iii) initiatives are coordinated to prevent test fatigue MESHD
, minimize redundant efforts, and encourage better study methodology. Other. PROSPERO: CRD42020183634. No third-party funding.