ORIGINAL PAPER
Determinants of seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 in hospital staff in the second wave of the pandemic in Slovenia
 
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1
National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Centre for Communicable Diseases)
2
National Laboratory for Health, Food and Environment, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Laboratory for Public Health Virology)
3
University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Medical Faculty, Chair for Public Health)
4
Novo Mesto General Hospital, Novo Mesto, Slovenia (Department for Infectious Diseases)
5
National Laboratory for Health, Food and Environment, Kranj, Slovenia (Laboratory for Human Microbiology)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Maja Socan   

National Institute of Public Health, Centre for Communicable Diseases, Zaloškacesta 29, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Online publication date: 2022-07-15
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) affected a disproportionately high percentage of healthcare workers (HCWs). The aim of the study was to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies in nurses and clinicians working in 2 Slovenian regional hospitals, and to identify the factors associated with seropositivity. Material and Methods: The study was designed as a crosssectional study. Clinicians and nurses were invited to participate in November–December 2020. The respondents (813, 65.8%) completed a questionnaire and consented to provide 10 ml of blood for determining the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. Results: The authors observed a seroprevalence rate of 20.4%. The results of the univariate analysis proved that the age of a nurse or clinician was the factor most strongly associated with seropositivity – in fact, the youngest nurses and clinicians were 8.33 times more likely to be seropositive than those in the oldest age group (p = 0.041). Being in contact with a family/household member who was SARS-CoV-2-positive was also a very important factor. In the work-related factors group, being in the contact with a SARS-CoV-2-positive colleague (OR = 2.35, p = 0.026) or being in contact with a COVID-19 patient (OR = 1.96, p = 0.004) correlated with seropositivity. In the primary work location/department group, the only significant association appeared among those working in surgical, ENT or ophthalmology departments. The results of the multivariate analysis further supported the thesis that the age of nurses and clinicians was the factor most strongly associated with seropositivity. The youngest nurses and clinicians were 12.5 times more likely to be seropositive than those in the oldest age group (p = 0.024). Being in contact with a SARS-CoV-2-positive family/household member remained the second most important factor. Conclusions: A significant number of clinicians and nurses working in secondary healthcare were infected in the first 9 months of the pandemic.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087