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Research shows persistence of Covid antibodies in healthcare workers

Researchers at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin have demonstrated the persistence of Covid-19 antibodies in 91 per cent of infected healthcare workers (HCWs) at six months post PCR confirmed infection.

Prof Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital said the study “presents important data on healthcare worker infection during the ongoing global pandemic”.

He said it  also “includes information on infection clinical symptoms and the importance of robust serological screening methods”.

“We are proud to work with Trinity Biotech, an Irish company in order to bring a reliable, accurate and sensitive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 to market at this challenging time which will have a meaningful impact on the long-term management of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Using a diagnostic test developed and manufactured by Trinity Biotech, the research team collected serum samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic HCWs employed at the Rotunda from March to September 2020.

Almost 600 blood samples were collected from more than 250 participants, including those staff presenting for symptomatic Covid-19 swabbing, asymptomatic healthcare workers volunteering as control participants and a further group of hospital staff with a previously laboratory confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

The study found that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected at Day 50 in 98 per cent of participants who had a confirmed positive swab result.

Antibodies persisted in these participants at day 100 post-confirmation of infection.

This figure dropped to 91 per cent by day 160+, highlighting that the vast majority of HCWs had detectable levels of antibodies in their serum up to six months post-infection.

The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers was significant during this timeframe, with 14 per ent of study participants testing positive via RT-PCR.

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