SARS-CoV-2 seroconversions and chains of infection in healthcare professionals in a German maximum care provider (The CoSHeP study)

This article was originally published here

Infection. 2021 Jun 18. doi: 10.1007/s15010-021-01641-6. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: The CoSHeP study provides novel data on SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion rates in healthcare professionals (HP) at risk at the University Hospital Bonn, a maximum healthcare provider in a region of 900.000 inhabitants.

METHODS: Single-center, longitudinal observational study investigating rate of SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion in HP at 2 time-points. SARS-CoV-2 IgG was measured with Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay.

RESULTS: Overall, 150 HP were included. Median age was 35 (range: 19-68). Main operational areas were intensive care unit (53%, n = 80), emergency room (31%, n = 46), and infectious disease department (16%, n = 24). SARS-CoV-2-IgG was detected in 5 participants (3%) at inclusion in May/June 2020, and in another 11 participants at follow-up (December 2020/ January 2021). Of the 16 seropositive participants, 14 had already known their SARS-CoV-2 infection because they had performed a PCR-test previously triggered by symptoms. Trailing chains of infection by self-assessment, 31% (n = 5) of infections were acquired through private contacts, 25% (n = 4) most likely through semi-private contacts during work. 13% (n = 2) were assumed to result through contact with contagious patients, further trailing was unsuccessful in 31% (n = 5). All five participants positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG at inclusion remained positive with a median of 7 months after infection.

DISCUSSION: Frontline HP caring for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Noteworthy, based upon identified chains of infection most of the infections were acquired in private environment and semi-private contacts during work. The low rate of infection through infectious patients reveals that professional hygiene standards are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in HP. Persisting SARS-CoV-2-IgG might indicate longer lasting immunity supporting prioritization of negative HP for vaccination.

PMID:34143409 | DOI:10.1007/s15010-021-01641-6