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1.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-520626.v1

ABSTRACT

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms is well described, and may be mitigated by mass testing. Nonetheless, the optimal implementation and quantitative real-world impact of this approach remain unclear. During a period of rising SARS-CoV-2 prevalence, students at the University of Cambridge were enrolled in a voluntary programme of weekly PCR-based asymptomatic screening. Swab pooling by household reduced the total testing capacity required by five-fold, without affecting laboratory workflows or compromising test sensitivity. Participation remained >75% throughout the study period. 299/671 (45%) of students diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 were either identified or pre-emptively quarantined because of the screening programme. After a negative screening test, the risk of developing COVID-19 over the following 7 days was decreased by 51%. Modelling transmission using parameters from our study suggests a reduction in R0 of up to 31% attributable to weekly screening. We therefore demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of regular, voluntary mass testing for COVID-19.

2.
ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3724855

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population but risk factors for HCW infection are not well described.Methods: We conducted a prospective sero-epidemiological study of HCWs at a UK teaching hospital using a SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay. Risk factors for seropositivity were analysed using multivariate logistic regression.Findings: 410/5,698 (7·2%) staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence was higher in those working in designated COVID-19 areas compared with other areas (9·47% versus 6·16%) Healthcare assistants (aOR 2·06 [95%CI 1·14-3·71]; p =0·016) and domestic and portering staff (aOR 3·45 [95% CI 1·07-11·42]; p =0·039) had significantly higher seroprevalence than other staff groups after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and COVID-19 working location. Staff working in acute medicine and medical sub-specialities were also at higher risk (aOR 2·07 [95% CI 1·31-3·25]; p <0·002). Staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had an aOR of 1·65 (95% CI 1·32 – 2·07; p <0·001) compared to white staff; this increased risk was independent of COVID-19 area working. The only symptoms significantly associated with seropositivity in a multivariable model were loss of sense of taste or smell, fever and myalgia; 31% of staff testing positive reported no prior symptoms.Interpretation: Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs is heterogeneous and influenced by COVID-19 working location, role, age and ethnicity. Increased risk amongst BAME staff cannot be accounted for solely by occupational factors.Funding: Wellcome Trust, Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, the Health Foundation and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interests: None to declare.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for this study was granted by the East of England – Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee (IRAS ID: 220277).


Subject(s)
Fever
3.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.03.20220699

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population but risk factors for HCW infection are not well described. Methods We conducted a prospective sero-epidemiological study of HCWs at a UK teaching hospital using a SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay. Risk factors for seropositivity were analysed using multivariate logistic regression. Findings 410/5,698 (7.2%) staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence was higher in those working in designated COVID-19 areas compared with other areas (9.47% versus 6.16%) Healthcare assistants (aOR 2.06 [95%CI 1.14-3.71]; p=0.016) and domestic and portering staff (aOR 3.45 [95% CI 1.07-11.42]; p=0.039) had significantly higher seroprevalence than other staff groups after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and COVID-19 working location. Staff working in acute medicine and medical sub-specialities were also at higher risk (aOR 2.07 [95% CI 1.31-3.25]; p=0.002). Staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had an aOR of 1.65 (95% CI 1.32-2.07; p<0.0001) compared to white staff; this increased risk was independent of COVID-19 area working. The only symptoms significantly associated with seropositivity in a multivariable model were loss of sense of taste or smell, fever and myalgia; 31% of staff testing positive reported no prior symptoms. Interpretation Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs is heterogeneous and influenced by COVID-19 working location, role, age and ethnicity. Increased risk amongst BAME staff cannot be accounted for solely by occupational factors. Funding Wellcome Trust, Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, the Health Foundation and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.


Subject(s)
Fever , Infections
4.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.09.20082909

ABSTRACT

Significant differences exist in the availability of healthcare worker (HCW) SARS-CoV-2 testing between countries, and existing programmes focus on screening symptomatic rather than asymptomatic staff. Over a 3-week period (April 2020), 1,032 asymptomatic HCWs were screened for SARS-CoV-2 in a large UK teaching hospital. Symptomatic staff and symptomatic household contacts were additionally tested. Real-time RT-PCR was used to detect viral RNA from a throat+nose self-swab. 3% of HCWs in the asymptomatic screening group tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. 17/30 (57%) were truly asymptomatic/pauci-symptomatic. 12/30 (40%) had experienced symptoms compatible with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) >7 days prior to testing, most self-isolating, returning well. Clusters of HCW infection were discovered on two independent wards. Viral genome sequencing showed that the majority of HCWs had the dominant lineage B{middle dot}1. Our data demonstrates the utility of comprehensive screening of HCWs with minimal or no symptoms. This approach will be critical for protecting patients and hospital staff.


Subject(s)
Agricultural Workers' Diseases
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