Occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare personnel: results from an early systematic review and meta-analysis.

Occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare personnel: results from an early systematic review and meta-analysis.


  • Matteo Riccò Azienda USL di Reggio EmiliaV.le Amendola n.2 - 42122 REServizio di Prevenzione e Sicurezza negli Ambienti di Lavoro (SPSAL)Dip. di Prevenzione http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6525-2159
  • Giovanni Gualerzi 2 Department of Medicine and Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Parma, 43123 Parma (PR), Italy
  • Silvia Ranzieri 3 Department of Medicine and Surgery, School of Occupational Medicine, University of Parma, I-43123 Parma (PR), Italy
  • Simona Peruzzi 4 AUSL–IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Laboratorio Analisi Chimico Cliniche e Microbiologiche, Ospedale Civile di Guastalla, I-42016 Guastalla (RE), Italy
  • Marina Valente Department of Medicine and Surgery, Unit of Clinical Surgery, University of Parma, I-43123 Parma (PR), Italy
  • Federico Marchesi Department of Medicine and Surgery, Unit of Clinical Surgery, University of Parma, I-43123 Parma (PR), Italy
  • Nicola Luigi Bragazzi Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (LIAM), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
  • Carlo Signorelli University “Vita e Salute”, San Raffaele Hospital, 20132 Milan (MI), Italy


COVID-19, healthcare workers, epidemiology, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus


Background. SARS-CoV-2 infection has become a global public health concern globally. Even though Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are supposedly at increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, to date no pooled evidence has been collected.

Materials and Methods. We searched online electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, medRxiv.org for pre-prints) for all available contribution (up to May 20, 2019). Two Authors independently screened articles and extracted the data. The pooled prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was analyzed using the random-effects model. The possible sources of heterogeneity were analyzed through subgroup analysis, and meta-regression.

Results. The overall pooled prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 3.5% (95%CI 1.8–6.6) for studies based on molecular assays, 5.5% (95%CI 2.1–14.1) for studies based on serological assays, and 6.5% (95%CI 2.5–15.6) for point-of-care capillary blood tests. Among subgroups, serological tests identified higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in physicians than in nurses (OR 1.436, 95%CI 1.026 to 2.008). Regression analysis indicated the possible presence of publication bias only for molecular tests (t -3.3526, p-value 0.002648).

Conclusions. The overall pooled prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was lower than previously expected, but available studies were affected by significant heterogeneity, and the molecular studies by significant publication bias. Therefore, further high-quality research in the field is warranted.

Author Biography

Matteo Riccò, Azienda USL di Reggio EmiliaV.le Amendola n.2 - 42122 REServizio di Prevenzione e Sicurezza negli Ambienti di Lavoro (SPSAL)Dip. di Prevenzione

Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica

Dirigente Medico di Medicina del Lavoro


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How to Cite

Riccò M, Gualerzi G, Ranzieri S, Peruzzi S, Valente M, Marchesi F, et al. Occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare personnel: results from an early systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2021 Nov. 3 [cited 2024 Jul. 18];92(5):e2021311. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/10438