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J Clin Virol ; 130: 104575, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694356


OBJECTIVE: Currently, little is known about the progression of an immune response against SARSCoV- 2 upon infection or sub-infection-exposure over time. We examined the serologic response in healthcare workers up to 12 weeks after a well-documented and contained outbreak and compared results with findings from earlier serologic testing in the same population. METHODS: This study followed 166 health care workers of the University Perinatal Care Center, Regensburg, Germany, for up to 12 weeks. 27 of the subjects had previously tested positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR testing and developed COVID-19. Serologic responses were tested with two independent commercially available test kits. RESULTS: 77.8 % of COVID-19 study subjects developed a specific IgG-response over the course of the 12-week study, while none of the COVID-19 contact groups had a detectable IgG response. Amongst most COVID-19 patients the values of detectable IgG-responses significantly increased over time as confirmed with both tests, while that of positive IgA responses decreased. Between the number of reported symptoms and antibody responses in COVID-19 patients no correlation was found and no new cases of seroconversion were identified in asymptomatic coworkers with negative PCR during the outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: Immune response after COVID-19 increases significantly over time but still approximately 22 % of COVID-19 patients did not mount a measurable serologic immune response within 60 days. Exposed co-workers did not develop any relevant antibody levels at all. We conclude that immunity after infection increases over time, but the antibody response does not develop reliably in all infected people.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Germany , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion , Young Adult
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(7): 841-847, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-273163


BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is increasing. Serological immunoglobulin tests may help to better understand the development of immune mechanisms against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 cases and exposed but asymptomatic individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate exposure to SARS-CoV-2, symptoms, and antibody responses in a large sample of healthcare workers following a COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: A COVID-19 outbreak among staff members of a major German children's and women's hospital was followed by massive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests and provided the opportunity to study symptoms, chains of infection, and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses (IgG and IgA) by ELISA. Study participants were classified as COVID-19 cases, and persons with close, moderate, or no exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the clinical setting, respectively. RESULTS: Out of 201 study participants, 31 were COVID-19 cases. While most study participants experienced many symptoms indicative for SARS-CoV-2 infection, anosmia and coughing were remarkably more frequent in COVID-19 cases. Approximately 80% of COVID-19 cases developed some specific antibody response (IgA and IgG) approximately 3 weeks after onset of symptoms. Subjects in the non-COVID-19 groups had also elevated IgG (1.8%) and IgA values (7.6%) irrespective of contact history with cases. CONCLUSION: We found that a significant number of diseased did not develop relevant antibody responses three weeks after symptom onset. Our data also suggest that exposure to COVID-19 positive co-workers in a hospital setting is not leading to the development of measurable immune responses in a significant proportion of asymptomatic contact persons.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Diseases , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Diseases/diagnosis , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Occupational Diseases/immunology , Occupational Diseases/virology , Occupational Exposure , Young Adult
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(5): 560-564, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102331


With increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 patients to be taken care of by the health system, more and more health workers become affected by the disease. It has been reported that right from the beginning of the outbreak in Lombardy up to 20% of the doctors and nurses became infected. Under these circumstances, the regular operation of health institutions already suffering from a shortage of staff becomes difficult. This has led to complete or partial shutdowns of hospitals, either due to a lack of uninfected personnel or because of uncontrollable chains of infection endangering patients. In one of the largest university perinatal center in Bavaria with more than 3000 births per year, an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in March 2020, affecting 36 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and midwives. Here, we describe the outbreak and present the measures contributing to the successful containment of the outbreak within three weeks. At the same time, clinical services could be maintained, however, not without deployment of personnel exposed to employees infected with SARS-CoV-2. Apart from massive testing of personnel in pre-defined phases and increased hygiene measures, including a general obligation to wear surgical face masks, we identified the need to monitor cases of illness across all groups of employees, to ensure social distancing within personnel and to evaluate contacts of clinical personnel outside of the hospital environment, in order to be able to interpret chains of infections and to disrupt them. Overall, only a bundle of measures is needed to contain such an outbreak.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perinatal Care/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Female , Germany , Hand Hygiene , Hospitals, Maternity , Humans , Masks , Pregnancy , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation