Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Medicinal Plants Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

3 Synapse IVD accelerator, Tehran, Iran

4 Clinical Tuberculosis and Epidemiology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, ShahidBeheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly transmits in general population, mainly between health-care workers (HCWs) who are in close contact with patients. Objective: To study the seropositivity of HCWs as a high-risk group compared to general population. Methods: 72 samples were obtained from HCWs working in Masih Daneshvari hospital as one of the main COVID-19 admission centers in Tehran, during April 4 to 6, 2020. Also we collected 2021 blood samples from general population. The SARS-CoV-2 specific IgM, and IgG antibodies in the collected serum specimens were measured by commercial ELISA kits. Results: Based on the clinical manifestations, 25.0%, 47.2%, and 27.8% of HCWs were categorized as symptomatic with typical symptoms, symptomatic with atypical symptoms, and asymptomatic, respectively. Symptomatic individuals with typical and atypical symptoms were 63.2% and 36.8% positive in RT-PCR test, respectively. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies were detected in 15.3% and 27.8% of HCWs samples, respectively. Antibody testing in the general population indicated that SARS-CoV-2 specific IgM and IgG were found in (162/2021) 8%, and (290/2021) 14.4%, respectively. The frequency of positive cases of IgM and IgG were significantly increased in HCWs compared to general population (p= 0.028 for IgM and p= 0.002 for IgG). Conclusion: The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in HCWs was higher than general population indicating a higher viral transmission via close exposure with COVID-19 patients.