Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers and patients in a teaching hospital in the Netherlands confirmed by whole-genome sequencing

S. Paltansing*, R. S. Sikkema, S. J. de Man, M. P.G. Koopmans, B. B. Oude Munnink, P. de Man

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the sources of infection among healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients in a teaching hospital in the Netherlands during the early stages of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using epidemiological and whole-genome sequencing data. Methods: From 3rd April to 11th May 2020, 88 HCWs and 215 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Whole-genome sequences were obtained for 30 HCWs and 20 patients. Results: Seven and 11 sequence types were identified in HCWs and patients, respectively. Cluster A was the most common sequence type, detected in 23 (77%) HCWs; of these, 14 (61%) had direct patient contact and nine (39%) had indirect patient contact. In addition, seven patients who were not hospitalized in the COVID-19 cohort isolation ward who became positive during their admission were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) cluster A. Following universal masking of all HCWs and emphasis on physical distancing during meals and breaks, no further evidence was found for patient-to-HCW or HCW-to-HCW transmission or vice versa. Conclusion: The finding that patients and HCWs were infected with SARS-CoV-2 cluster A suggests both HCW-to-HCW and HCW-to-patient transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

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