The burden of SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers across 16 hospitals of Kashmir, India-A seroepidemiological study

PLoS One. 2021 Nov 19;16(11):e0259893. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0259893. eCollection 2021.


SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has greatly affected healthcare workers because of the high risk of getting infected. The present cross-sectional study measured SARS-CoV-2 antibody in healthcare workers of Kashmir, India.

Methods: Serological testing to detect antibodies against nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 was performed in 2003 healthcare workers who voluntarily participated in the study.

Results: We report relatively high seropositivity of 26.8% (95% CI 24.8-28.8) for SARS-CoV-2in healthcare workers, nine months after the first case was detected in Kashmir. Most of the healthcare workers (71.7%) attributed infection to the workplace environment. Among healthcare workers who neither reported any prior symptom nor were they ever tested for infection by nasopharyngeal swab test, 25.5% were seropositive.

Conclusion: We advocate interval testing by nasopharyngeal swab test of all healthcare workers regardless of symptoms to limit the transmission of infection within healthcare settings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 Serological Testing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies

Grants and funding

Initials of the authors who received each award: SMSK. • Grant numbers awarded to each author: Order No: 50 of 2020 Dated 3-9-2020 • The full name of each funder: National Health Mission, Jammu and Kashmir. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.