Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health care workers from Northern Italy based on antibody status: immune protection from secondary infection- A retrospective observational case-controlled study

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Abstract

Objective: The protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection induced by SARS-CoV-2 anti-S1 and anti-S2 IgG antibody positivity resulting from natural infection was evaluated. Methods: The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infection (as determined by virus RNA detection) was evaluated in a group of 1,460 seropositive and a control group of 8,150 seronegative healthcare workers in three Centres of Northern Italy in the period June-November 2020. Neutralizing serum titers were analyzed in seropositive subjects with or without secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: During the 6-month survey, 1.78% seropositive subjects developed secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection while 6.63% seronegative controls developed primary infection (odds ratio: 0.26; 95% confidence interval: 0.17-0.38). Secondary infection was associated with low or absent serum neutralizing titer (p<0.01) and was mildly symptomatic in 45.8% cases vs 71.4% symptomatic primary infections (odds ratio: 0.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.16-0.78). Conclusions: Immunity from natural infection appears protective from secondary infection; therefore, vaccination of seronegative subjects might be prioritized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-202
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume109
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • immune protection
  • neutralizing antibody
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • secondary infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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