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Saudi Med J ; 42(7): 742-749, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513260


OBJECTIVES: To identify the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies among operating room and critical care staff. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 319 Healthcare workers employed in the operation theater and intensive care unit of King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH), a tertiary teaching hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between August 9, 2020 and November 2, 2020. All participants completed a 20-item questionnaire on demographic data and COVID-19 risk factors and provided blood samples. Antibody testing was performed using an in-house enzyme immunoassay and microneutralization test. RESULTS: Of the 319 participants, 39 had detectable COVID-19 antibodies. Five of them had never experienced any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and only 19 were previously diagnosed with COVID-19. The odds of developing COVID-19 or having corresponding antibodies increased if participants experienced COVID-19 symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-7.5) or reported contact with an infected family member (OR, 5.3; 95% CI, 2.5-11.2). Disease acquisition was not associated with employment in the ICU and involvement in the intubation of or close contact with COVID-19 patients. Of the 19 previously diagnosed participants, 6 did not possess any detectable COVID-19 antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare workers may have undiagnosed COVID-19, and those previously infected may not have long-lasting immunity. Therefore, hospitals must continue to uphold strict infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Male , Middle Aged , Operating Rooms , Pandemics , Prevalence , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology