Live updates on the coronavirus pandemic

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Paramedic Jess Baddams poses while taking a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub of the West Midlands Ambulance Service in Birmingham on June 5. Simon Dawson / Pool / AFP / Getty Images

About 7% of participants in a UK study tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, according to the results of the first month of the national study.

Test results, which indicate a previous infection with the coronavirus, ranged from 10.4% of Londoners to around 4.4% of people living in the south-west of England and Scotland.

The widespread serology, or antibody, study in the UK uses volunteers for a much larger and ongoing health study called UK Biobank. UK Biobank collected samples and health information from 500,000 volunteers for research.

Researchers have recruited more than 20,000 volunteers from parts of the UK to study antibodies to coronaviruses. They are asked to provide monthly blood samples that the Target Discovery Institute, based at the University of Oxford, will test for antibodies.

The first set of results included 17,776 participant samples collected in May and June. Nationally, 7.1% were positive for Covid-19 antibodies, the researchers reported on the Biobank website. Just under 11% of people under 30 had antibodies, compared to 5.4% of those over 70.

The results confirm other studies which indicate that black, Asian and minority ethnic groups appear to be hardest hit by Covid-19, which is consistent with the results from the United States.

Among black participants, about 11.3% tested positive for antibodies, compared with 6.9% of white participants. The researchers noted that the differences between ethnic groups could not be fully explained by age or place of residence. But previous infection was also higher in people living in disadvantaged socio-economic areas.

The team says their continued research will provide insight into how antibody levels change over time, hopefully answering questions about immunity, reinfection, and the impact of maintenance orders. home.

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