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Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Binding and Neutralizing Antibodies in Healthcare Workers during the Epidemic Peak in Referral Hospitals and Quarantine Sites: Saudi Arabia

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Published: 20 July 2021
 by  MDPI
 in Viruses
Viruses , Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13071413

Abstract: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population. Here, we aimed to evaluate and characterize the SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate in randomly collected samples among HCWs from the largest referral hospitals and quarantine sites during the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in the city of Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, using a cross-sectional analytic study design. Out of 693 participants recruited from 29 June to 10 August 2020, 223 (32.2%, 95% CI: 28.8–35.8) were found to be confirmed seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and among those 197 (88.3%) had never been diagnosed with COVID-19. Seropositivity was not significantly associated with participants reporting COVID-19 compatible symptoms as most seropositive HCW participants 140 (62.8%) were asymptomatic. The large proportion of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases detected in our study demands periodic testing as a general hospital policy.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic / anti-S Abs / seroprevalence / Jeddah / HCWs

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