Anti-SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity among medical students in Copenhagen [article]

Johannes R. Madsen, Jacob P.S. Nielsen, Kamille Fogh, Cecilie B. Hansen, Pernille B. Nielsen, Theis Lange, Rasmus B. Hasselbalch, Peter Garred, Kasper Iversen
2021 medRxiv   pre-print
Healthcare workers are at a higher risk of getting infected with SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. However, detailed knowledge about medical students and exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is lacking. Thus, we measured the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a cohort of Danish medical students. Methods We invited all medical students at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) to participate. A venous blood sample was drawn along with completing a self-report questionnaire. Blood samples were analyzed
more » ... ples were analyzed for total antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and related to symptomatology, social behaviour, and work-life. Seropositive samples were screened for IgM, IgG, and IgA antibodies. Results Between October 19th and 26th 1,120 students participated in questionnaire, of these 1,096 were included in the study. Of all included 379 (34.58%) of the participants were seropositive. The risk of seropositivity was significantly increased for participants attending two parties at UCPH, on February the 29th and March 6th 2020 (OR 5.96 (95% CI 4.34-8.24, p<0.001). Further, 461 students (42.06%) worked with COVID-19 patients, which was significantly associated with risk of seropositivity (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.03-1.85, p=0.033). The symptom most substantially associated with seropositivity was loss of smell and/or taste (n=183 of all, 31.35%) with an OR of 24.48 (95% CI 15.49-40.60, p<0.001). Conclusion Medical students have the highest reported seropositivity in the Danish healthcare system. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission amongst the students appear to be partly related to working with COVID-19 infected patients, but to a greater extent, their social behaviour.
doi:10.1101/2021.02.09.21251421 fatcat:altwdedzejh7tg5wuprwe75ide