SARS-CoV-2 antibody screening in healthcare workers: lessons learned from the first months of COVID-19 outbreak in Europe

Original Article, Pol J Public Health, Vol. 132 (2022): 1-10

Daria Burdalska1, Adam Konka1, Szymon Woroszyło1,
Kliwia Piórkowska1, Joanna Zembala-John1,2,3, Marlena Golec1,
Martyna Fronczek1,4, Rafał Jakub Bułdak1,5

1 Silesian Park of Medical Technology Kardio-Med Silesia, Zabrze, Poland
2 Chair and Department of Medicine and Environmental Epidemiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Zabrze, Poland
3 Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, Zabrze, Poland
4 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Zabrze, Poland
5 Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Opole, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2022-0001

© 2022  Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


Introduction. Detected in 2019 in Wuhan, China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has changed almost all aspects of human lives. It has had an enormous impact on societies, economies and politics across the world. Nevertheless, first and foremost, it has led to a global health crisis on an unprecedented scale. Since the pandemic’s beginning, one of the greatest global challenges has been to stop the spread of infection among healthcare workers (HCWs). As a front-line fighters, they are at higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 than other professions.
Aim. The study aimed to determine the role of serological testing among HCWs by analyzing screening results for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in this group in 12 European countries during the first wave of the pandemic.
Material and methods. Pubmed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and WHO COVID-19 databases were searched for studies on screening among HCWs using immunoassays or chemiluminescence assays for preventive purposes and determining the percentage of HCWs with acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2. The number of 30 papers were selected. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) percentage was analyzed, and determination of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies and their diagnostic usefulness.
Results. The screening results of HCWs were juxtaposed with epidemic situation of that time and public health measures in given country.
Conclusion. Introduction of routine serological testing of HCWs could be a valuable strategy to monitor the occupational risk in this group and effectiveness of local epidemic management strategies.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, serologic test, health personel, seroprevalence, IgG antibody.

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