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SARS-CoV-2 seroconversions and chains of infection in healthcare professionals in a German maximum care provider (The CoSHeP study)

  • van Bremen, Kathrin1, 2
  • Monin, Malte1, 2
  • Eis-Hübinger, Anna Maria3
  • Marx, Benjamin3
  • Aldabaggh, Souhaib3
  • Streeck, Hendrik3
  • Wasmuth, Jan-Christian1, 2
  • Menting, Tanja1
  • Schlabe, Stefan1, 2
  • Rieke, Gereon J.1, 2
  • Schwarze-Zander, Carolynne1, 2
  • Rockstroh, Jürgen K.1, 2
  • Boesecke, Christoph1, 2
  • 1 Bonn University Hospital,
  • 2 German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF),
  • 3 University of Bonn,
Published Article
Publication Date
Jun 18, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s15010-021-01641-6
PMID: 34143409
PMCID: PMC8211969
PubMed Central
  • Brief Report


Introduction The CoSHeP study provides novel data on SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion rates in healthcare professionals (HP) at risk at the University Hospital Bonn, a maximum healthcare provider in a region of 900.000 inhabitants. Methods Single-center, longitudinal observational study investigating rate of SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion in HP at 2 time-points. SARS-CoV-2 IgG was measured with Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. Results Overall, 150 HP were included. Median age was 35 (range: 19–68). Main operational areas were intensive care unit (53%, n = 80), emergency room (31%, n = 46), and infectious disease department (16%, n = 24). SARS-CoV-2-IgG was detected in 5 participants (3%) at inclusion in May/June 2020, and in another 11 participants at follow-up (December 2020/ January 2021). Of the 16 seropositive participants, 14 had already known their SARS-CoV-2 infection because they had performed a PCR-test previously triggered by symptoms. Trailing chains of infection by self-assessment, 31% ( n = 5) of infections were acquired through private contacts, 25% ( n = 4) most likely through semi-private contacts during work. 13% ( n = 2) were assumed to result through contact with contagious patients, further trailing was unsuccessful in 31% ( n = 5). All five participants positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG at inclusion remained positive with a median of 7 months after infection. Discussion Frontline HP caring for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Noteworthy, based upon identified chains of infection most of the infections were acquired in private environment and semi-private contacts during work. The low rate of infection through infectious patients reveals that professional hygiene standards are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections in HP. Persisting SARS-CoV-2-IgG might indicate longer lasting immunity supporting prioritization of negative HP for vaccination.

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