[Source: Journal of Clinical Virology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Journal of Clinical Virology | Available online 13 May 2020, 104437 | In Press, Journal Pre-proof | Short communication
SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody detection in healthcare workers in Germany with direct contact to COVID-19 patients
Johannes Korth a, Benjamin Wilde a, Sebastian Dolff b, Olympia E. Anastasiou c, Adalbert Krawczyk b, Michael Jahn a, Sebastian Cordes d, Birgit Ross e, Stefan Esser f, Monika Lindemann g, Andreas Kribben a, Ulf Dittmer c, Oliver Witzke b, Anke Herrmann c
a Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany; b Department of Infectious Diseases, West German Centre of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany; c Institute for Virology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Virchowstr. 179, 45147 Essen, Germany; d Department of Pneumology, University Hospital Essen, University Hospital Essen, Tüschener Weg 40, 45239 Essen, Germany; e Hospital Hygiene, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany; f Clinic of Dermatology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany; g Institute for Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45147 Essen, Germany
Received 5 May 2020, Accepted 10 May 2020, Available online 13 May 2020.
- The average SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in healthcare workers of a a tertiary hospital, University Hospital Essen, Germany was 1.6% in the period between March to April 2020.
- The local hygiene standards seem to be effective to prevent patient-to-staff virus transmission at the designated COVID-19 units wards.
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a severe respiratory manifestation, COVID-19, and presents a challenge for healthcare systems worldwide. Healthcare workers are a vulnerable cohort for SARS-CoV-2 infection due to frequent and close contact to patients with COVID-19.
Serum samples from 316 healthcare workers of the University Hospital Essen, Germany were tested for SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies. A questionnaire was used to collect demographic and clinical data. Healthcare workers were grouped depending on the frequency of contact to COVID-19 patients in high-risk-group (n = 244) with daily contact to known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, intermediated-risk-group (n = 37) with daily contact to patients without known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection at admission and low-risk-group (n = 35) without patient contact.
In 5 of 316 (1.6%) healthcare workers SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies could be detected. The seroprevalence was higher in the intermediate-risk-group vs. high-risk-group vs. 2/37 (5.4%) vs. (3/244 (1.2%), p = 0.13). Four of the five subject were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 via PCR. One (20%) subject was not tested via PCR since he was asymptomatic.
The overall seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers of a tertiary hospital in Germany is low (1.6%). The data indicate that the local hygiene standard might be effective.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Serology; Seroprevalence; HCWs; PPE; Germany.