Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among the Healthcare Workers of a Tertiary Care Hospital of Northeast India during First Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Hospital-based Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Mithu Medhi,
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh, Assam, India.
Introduction: During Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are the frontline personals who are engaged in different facilities of the health system. So they always remain at a greater risk of exposure and acquiring the disease. They may also become a potential source of infection to the other patients as well to the community.
Aim: To estimate the seroprevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) specific Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies among asymptomatic, COVID-19 negative HCWs of a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods: This hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology in a tertiary care hospital of Northeast India. A total of 215 HCWs were recruited from 15th October to 14th December 2020 after taking written and informed consent. Inclusion criteria were: a) >18 years of age and both genders, b) asymptomatic, negative for COVID-19 either by Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), c) working in the hospital for atleast last four months. Predesigned questionnaire was used for data collection. Serum samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies by Enzyme Linked Fluorescence Assay (ELFA) using VIDAS (VITEK ImmunoDiagnostic Assay System) platform. Chi-square test was used (Epi Info version 7 software) for data analysis.
Results: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 54 (25.12%) out of 215, which was highest in ≤30 years age group, 27 (32.14%) out of 84 (p=0.0261). Significant seropositivity was found among cleaners 22 (61.11%) out of 36 (p<0.01) and participants who reported having COVID-19-related symptoms in the previous months (p<0.013). However gender, daily patient contact, close contact with COVID-19 cases and working in COVID-19 units showed no significance.
Conclusion: The study highlighted a high burden of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCWs. A proper surveillance system is needed for estimating the burden of COVID-19 among HCWs as well as in the community for better understanding of the dynamics of the infection.