Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among healthcare workers in Dutch hospitals after the 2020 first wave: a multicentre cross-sectional study with prospective follow-up

COCON Study Group, Claudia Recanatini*, Corine H GeurtsvanKessel, Suzan D Pas, Els M Broens, Martje Maas, Rosa van Mansfeld, Anne J G Mutsaers-van Oudheusden, Miranda van Rijen, Emile F Schippers, Arjan Stegeman, Adriana Tami, Karin Ellen Veldkamp, Hannah Visser, Andreas Voss, Marjolijn C A Wegdam-Blans, Heiman F L Wertheim, Peter C Wever, Marion P G Koopmans, Jan A J W KluytmansMarjolein F Q Kluytmans-van den Bergh

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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BACKGROUND: We aimed to estimate the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence and describe its determinants and associated symptoms among unvaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) after the first wave of the pandemic.

METHODS: HCWs from 13 Dutch hospitals were screened for antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in June-July 2020 and after three months. Participants completed a retrospective questionnaire on determinants for occupational and community exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 experienced since January 2020. The seroprevalence was calculated per baseline characteristic and symptom at baseline and after follow-up. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for seropositivity were determined using logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among 2328 HCWs, 323 (13.9%) were seropositive at enrolment, 49 of whom (15%) reported no previous symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. During follow-up, only 1% of the tested participants seroconverted. Seroprevalence was higher in younger HCWs compared to the mid-age category (aOR 1.53, 95% CI 1.07-2.18). Nurses (aOR 2.21, 95% CI 1.34-3.64) and administrative staff (aOR 1.87, 95% CI 1.02-3.43) had a higher seroprevalence than physicians. The highest seroprevalence was observed in HCWs in the emergency department (ED) (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.10-2.91), the lowest in HCWs in the intensive, high, or medium care units (aOR 0.47, 95% CI 0.31-0.71). Chronic respiratory disease, smoking, and having a dog were independently associated with a lower seroprevalence, while HCWs with diabetes mellitus had a higher seroprevalence. In a multivariable model containing all self-reported symptoms since January 2020, altered smell and taste, fever, general malaise/fatigue, and muscle aches were positively associated with developing antibodies, while sore throat and chills were negatively associated.

CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in unvaccinated HCWs of 13 Dutch hospitals was 14% in June-July 2020 and remained stable after three months. A higher seroprevalence was observed in the ED and among nurses, administrative and young staff, and those with diabetes mellitus, while a lower seroprevalence was found in HCWs in intensive, high, or medium care, and those with self-reported lung disease, smokers, and dog owners. A history of altered smell or taste, fever, muscle aches and fatigue were independently associated with the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in unvaccinated HCWs.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftAntimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
StatusPublished - 29-nov.-2023


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