Study shows coronavirus antibodies in 5.5% of Dutch blood donors

FILE PHOTO: A person donates blood plasma, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Sanquin blood bank in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A study of Dutch blood donors has found that around 5.5% of them have developed antibodies against the new coronavirus, blood donation firm Sanquin said on Wednesday.

The study, conducted among 7,000 donors between May 10 and 20, gives an indication of what percentage of the Dutch population may have already had the disease.

A similar study in April showed antibodies in 3% of Dutch blood donors. [nA5N2BB01E]

“This shows that over 90% of our donors have still not been in touch with the virus, assuming almost all people who have been infected develop antibodies,” Sanquin head researcher Hans Zaaijer told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

“We are miles away from a scenario of herd immunity.”

As of Tuesday 46,647 infections with the new coronavirus had been confirmed in the Netherlands, with 5,967 deaths.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Tom Hogue