SARS-CoV-2 transmission among health care workers, an outbreak investigation using whole-genome sequencing

Copyright: © 2023 te Paske et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited..

BACKGROUND: We report an outbreak investigation to map intra-hospital transmission among health care workers (HCW) using epidemiological and whole-genome sequencing data.

METHODS: Fourteen clinical wards (COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) with high infection rates of SARS-CoV-2 among HCW were selected and demographical, epidemiological and sequencing data were collected of all HCW testing positive by RT-PCR. Clustered cases were identified based on first disease onsets and differences in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP's) and were analysed for additional characteristics.

RESULTS: Data was collected for 123 HCW. Out of 123 HCW, 65 (53%) worked at eight non-COVID-19 wards, 56 (46%) at four COVID-19 wards, one (<1%) worked on several wards and for one (<1%) it was unknown. One major cluster (n = 34) and three minor clusters (n = 2,3,4; total n = 9) comprising of 43 HCW (35%) were found after comparing our study population (n = 123) with the circulating regional sequences (n = 819). In clustered cases work was most often the suspected source of infection and continuing work while having symptoms occurred in all clusters, ranging from 1-6 days.

CONCLUSION: Our findings strongly indicate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among HCW. Whole-genome sequencing is useful for identification of clusters and can give direction to targeted infection prevention measures.

Media Type:

Electronic Article

Year of Publication:




Contained In:

To Main Record - volume:18

Contained In:

PloS one - 18(2023), 3 vom: 31., Seite e0283292




Te Paske, K S [Author]
Tienen, C van [Author]
Dunk, D [Author]
Pelt, D van [Author]
Smit, P W [Author]




Journal Article


Date Completed 04.04.2023

Date Revised 18.04.2023

published: Electronic-eCollection

Citation Status MEDLINE




Supporting institution / Project title:

PPN (Catalogue-ID):