How Common is SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection among Healthcare Workers with Antibodies?
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Lumley et al. (NEJM, 2020) assessed the incidence of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests and symptomatic COVID-19 infections in health care workers who were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
Oxford University Hospitals in the UK
Seropositive and seronegative healthcare workers
Asymptomatic healthcare staff: Invited to participate in voluntary PCR testing every 2 weeks and serologic testing every 2 months (beginning April 23, 2020)
Follow-up: 31 weeks
Primary outcomes were analyzed according to antibody status | Calculations adjusted for age, reported gender, and changes in incidence over time
PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 test results
New symptomatic infections
12,541 healthcare workers (HCWs)
Baseline negative antibody results: 11,364 HCWs
Baseline positive antibody results: 1265 HCWs
Seronegative HCWs with a positive PCR test
Total: 223 HCWs (1.09 per 10,000 days at risk)
Asymptomatic at screening: 100 HCWs
Symptomatic at screening: 123 HCWs
Seropositive HCWs with a positive PCR test
Total: 2 HCWs (0.13 per 10,000 days at risk)
Both were asymptomatic when tested
Adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.11 (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.44; P=0.002)
There were no symptomatic infections in HCWs with antibodies
SARS-CoV-2 reinfections in healthcare workers with antibodies were rare in the 31 weeks of follow-up
The authors state
No symptomatic infections and only two PCR-positive results in asymptomatic health care workers were seen in those with anti-spike antibodies, which suggests that previous infection resulting in antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is associated with protection from reinfection for most people for at least 6 months.
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