Background: Since the occurrence of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), the global community has witnessed its exponential spread with devastating outcomes within the general population and specifically within hemodialysis patients.
Objectives: Compare the state of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 among hemodialysis patients and staff.
Design: Cross-sectional study with a prospective follow-up period.
Setting: Hemodialysis centers in Madinah region.
Patients and methods: We prospectively tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in dialysis patients using dialysis centers staff as controls. The participants were tested on four occasions when feasible for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We also analyzed factors that might be associated with seropositivity.
Main outcome measures: SARS-CoV-2 positivity using immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels SAMPLE SIZE: 830 participants, 677 patients and 153 dialysis centers staff as controls.
Results: Of the total participants, 325 (257 patients and 68 staff) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, for a prevalence of 38.0% and 44.4% among patients and staff, respectively (P=.1379). Participants with a history of COVID-19 or related symptoms were more likely to have positive IgG (P<.0001). Surprisingly, positivity was also center-dependent. In a multivariable logistic regression, a history of infection and related symptoms contributed significantly to developing immunity.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody among hemodialysis patients and previously asymptomatic staff suggested past asymptomatic infection. Some centers showed more immunity effects than others.
Limitations: Unable to collect four samples for each participant; limited to one urban center.
Conflict of interest: None.