Despite the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, frontline healthcare workers in COVID-19 facilities are highly exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The objective of this study is to investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in healthcare workers.
This observational cohort study included a total of 28,792 healthcare workers, including medical staff, nursing staff, and students (frontline healthcare workers, healthcare workers in other settings, and healthcare workers in COVID-19 wards). The participants were screened for IgM and IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The primary outcome of the study was the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Of 28,702 eligible participants, 1,163 (4.04%) were seropositive. The findings suggested that seroprevalence was higher in healthcare workers, as compared with blood donors (n=142 [3.04%]). Further analysis suggested that seroprevalence was higher in male healthcare workers (n=331 [5.45%] than in female healthcare workers (n=832 [3.66%]). The researchers also discovered that frontline health workers working in hospitals had a higher seroprevalence (n=779 [4.55%]) than healthcare workers working on other settings and facilities (n=384 [3.29%]). Moreover, healthcare workers in COVID-19 wards had a higher seroprevalence (n=95 [7.19%]) than other frontline workers.
The research concluded that the prevalence of healthcare workers with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 was low in general but higher compared to blood donors.