Kantonsspital St.Gallen
login

Non-occupational and occupational factors associated with specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among hospital workers - A multicentre cross-sectional study

Christian R. Kahlert, Raphael Persi, Sabine Güsewell, Thomas Egger, Onicio B Leal-Neto, Johannes Sumer, Domenica Flury, Angela Brucher, Eva Lemmenmeier, J Carsten Möller, Philip Rieder, Reto Stocker, Danielle Vuichard-Gysin, Benedikt Wiggli, Werner Albrich, Baharak Babouee Flury, Ulrike Besold, Jan Fehr, Stefan P Kuster, Allison McGeer, Lorenz Risch, Matthias Schlegel, Andrée Friedl, Pietro Vernazza & Philipp Kohler

abstract

OBJECTIVES
Protecting healthcare workers (HCW) from Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is critical to preserve the functioning of healthcare systems. We therefore assessed seroprevalence and identified risk factors for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) seropositivity in this population.

METHODS
Between June 22 and August 15 2020, HCW from institutions in Northern/Eastern Switzerland were screened for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We recorded baseline characteristics, non-occupational and occupational risk factors. We used pairwise tests of associations and multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with seropositivity.

RESULTS
Among 4'664 HCW from 23 healthcare facilities, 139 (3%) were seropositive. Non-occupational exposures independently associated with seropositivity were contact with a COVID-19-positive household (adjusted OR=59, 95%-CI: 33-106), stay in a COVID-19 hotspot (aOR=2.3, 95%-CI: 1.2-4.2), and male sex (aOR=1.9, 95%-CI: 1.1-3.1). Blood group 0 vs. non-0 (aOR=0.5, 95%-CI: 0.3-0.8), active smoking (aOR=0.4, 95%-CI: 0.2-0.7), living with children <12 years (aOR=0.3, 95%-CI: 0.2-0.6), and being a physician (aOR 0.2, 95%-CI: 0.1-0.5) were associated with decreased risk. Other occupational risk factors were close contact to COVID-19 patients (aOR=2.7, 95%-CI: 1.4-5.4), exposure to COVID-19-positive co-workers (aOR=1.9, 95%-CI: 1.1-2.9), poor knowledge of standard hygiene precautions (aOR=1.9, 95%-CI: 1.2-2.9), and frequent visits to the hospital canteen (aOR=2.3, 95%-CI: 1.4-3.8).

CONCLUSIONS
Living with COVID-19-positive households showed the strongest association with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity. We identified several potentially modifiable work-related risk factors, which might allow mitigation of the COVID-19 risk among HCW. The lower risk among those living with children, even after correction for multiple confounders, is remarkable and merits further study.
   
citation Kahlert C R, Persi R, Güsewell S, Egger T, Leal-Neto O B, Sumer J, Flury D, Brucher A, Lemmenmeier E, Möller J C, Rieder P, Stocker R, Vuichard-Gysin D, Wiggli B, albrich w, Flury B B, Besold U, Fehr J, Kuster S P, McGeer A, Risch L, Schlegel M, Friedl A, Vernazza P, Kohler P. Non-occupational and occupational factors associated with specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among hospital workers - A multicentre cross-sectional study. Clin Microbiol Infect 2021;.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 18-05-2021
journal title Clin Microbiol Infect
ISSN electronic 1469-0691
PubMed 34020033
DOI 10.1016/j.cmi.2021.05.014