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PLoS One ; 15(12): e0244348, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999840


BACKGROUND: The rapid spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) around the world has caused a global pandemic, infecting millions of individuals, with an unprecedented impact in health care systems worldwide. Healthcare workers are one of the risk groups that need to be well protected, due to their strategic role in patient management, presently and in prevention of healthcare needs for future outbreaks. Here, we present the results of the first SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study in the Northern Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Spain. METHODS: IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were analyzed in serum samples from 7563 healthcare workers of the Northern Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Samples were collected after the first pandemic wave (from May 4th to May 22nd, 2020) and were analyzed by automated chemiluminescence assays. All samples were tested for IgG anti-S1/S2. Participant samples with negative or equivocal results but with analytical signals above the limit of detection and/or previously confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis were also tested for IgG anti-Nucleocapsid. RESULTS: A total of 779 of 7563 (10.3%) healthcare workers were positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (specific for either S1/S2 or N antigens). No significant differences were observed between those working at primary care or at the reference hospital. Interestingly, among 341 participants with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, 36 (10.55%) tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 IgG (both S1/S2 and recombinant N antigen). CONCLUSION: Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in the healthcare workers of the North Metropolitan Area of Barcelona was higher than in the general population in the same geographical area. Safety measures have to be stressed in order to protect these essential workers from future pandemic waves.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain , Young Adult