Occupation, work-related contact and SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid serological status: findings from the Virus Watch prospective cohort study

Virus Watch Collaborative

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    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection varies across occupations; however, investigation into factors underlying differential risk is limited. We aimed to estimate the total effect of occupation on SARS-CoV-2 serological status, whether this is mediated by workplace close contact, and how exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces varied across occupations. Methods We used data from a subcohort (n=3775) of adults in the UK-based Virus Watch cohort study who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid antibodies (indicating natural infection). We used logistic decomposition to investigate the relationship between occupation, contact and seropositivity, and logistic regression to investigate exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces. Results Seropositivity was 17.1% among workers with daily close contact vs 10.0% for those with no work-related close contact. Compared with other professional occupations, healthcare, indoor trade/process/plant, leisure/personal service, and transport/mobile machine workers had elevated adjusted total odds of seropositivity (1.80 (1.03 to 3.14) - 2.46 (1.82 to 3.33)). Work-related contact accounted for a variable part of increased odds across occupations (1.04 (1.01 to 1.08) - 1.23 (1.09 to 1.40)). Occupations with raised odds of infection after accounting for work-related contact also had greater exposure to poorly ventilated workplaces. Conclusions Work-related close contact appears to contribute to occupational variation in seropositivity. Reducing contact in workplaces is an important COVID-19 control measure.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)729-735
    Number of pages7
    JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
    Volume79
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

    Keywords

    • COVID-19
    • Epidemiology
    • Occupational Health

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