Seroprevalence of Antibodies to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Among Healthcare Workers in Kenya

Etyang AO, Lucinde R, Karanja H, Kalu C, Mugo D, Nyagwange J, Gitonga J, Tuju J, Wanjiku P, Karani A, Mutua S, Maroko H, Nzomo E, Maitha E, Kamuri E, Kaugiria T, Weru J, Ochola LB, Kilimo N, Charo S, Emukule N, Moracha W, Mukabi D, Okuku R, Ogutu M, Angujo B, Otiende M, Bottomley C, Otieno E, Ndwiga L, Nyaguara A, Voller S, Agoti CN, Nokes DJ, Ochola-Oyier LI, Aman R, Amoth P, Mwangangi M, Kasera K, Ng'ang'a W, Adetifa IMO, Wangeci Kagucia E, Gallagher K, Uyoga S, Tsofa B, Barasa E, Bejon P, Scott JAG, Agweyu A, Warimwe GM
Clin Infect Dis. 2022;74

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BACKGROUND: Few studies have assessed the seroprevalence of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Africa. We report findings from a survey among HCWs in 3 counties in Kenya. METHODS: We recruited 684 HCWs from Kilifi (rural), Busia (rural), and Nairobi (urban) counties. The serosurvey was conducted between 30 July and 4 December 2020. We tested for immunoglobulin G antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Assay sensitivity and specificity were 92.7 (95% CI, 87.9-96.1) and 99.0% (95% CI, 98.1-99.5), respectively. We adjusted prevalence estimates, using bayesian modeling to account for assay performance. RESULTS: The crude overall seroprevalence was 19.7% (135 of 684). After adjustment for assay performance, seroprevalence was 20.8% (95% credible interval, 17.5%-24.4%). Seroprevalence varied significantly (P < .001) by site: 43.8% (95% credible interval, 35.8%-52.2%) in Nairobi, 12.6% (8.8%-17.1%) in Busia and 11.5% (7.2%-17.6%) in Kilifi. In a multivariable model controlling for age, sex, and site, professional cadre was not associated with differences in seroprevalence. CONCLUSION: These initial data demonstrate a high seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 among HCWs in Kenya. There was significant variation in seroprevalence by region, but not by cadre.