High SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence among healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 patients

Link to article at PubMed

Chen Y, et al. J Infect 2020.


The seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was examined among 105 healthcare workers (HCWs) exposed to four patients who were laboratory confirmed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. These HCWs were immediately under quarantine for 14 days as soon as they were identified as close contacts. The nasopharyngeal swab samples were collected on the first and 14th day of the quarantine, while the serum samples were obtained on the 14th day of the quarantine. With the assay of enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and microneutralization assay, 17.14% (18/105) of HCWs were seropositive, while their swab samples were found to be SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative. Risk analysis revealed that wearing face mask could reduce the infection risk (odds ratio [OR], 0.127, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.017, 0.968), while when exposed to COVID-19 patients, doctors might have higher risk of seroconversion (OR, 346.837, 95% CI 8.924, 13479.434), compared with HCWs exposed to colleagues as well as nurses and general service assistants who exposed to patients. Our study revealed that the serological testing is useful for the identification of asymptomatic or subclinical infection of SARS-CoV-2 among close contacts with COVID-19 patients.

PMID:32504745 | PMC:PMC7270786 | DOI:10.1016/j.jinf.2020.05.067

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