High SARS-CoV-2 Prevalence among Healthcare Workers in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Paola Mariela Saba Villarroel, María Del Rosario Castro Soto, Verónica Undurraga, Heydi Sanz, Ana María Jaldín, Laetitia Ninove, Elif Nurtop, Laura Pezzi, Souand Mohamed Ali, Abdennour Amroun, Morgan Seston, Xavier de Lamballerie

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1 Scopus citations


Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of the study was to estimate the SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among HCWs in Cochabamba, Bolivia and to determine the potential risk factors. In January 2021, a cross-sectional SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study was conducted in 783 volunteer clinical and non-clinical HCWs in tertiary care facilities. It was based on IgG detection using ELISA, chemiluminiscence, and seroneutralisation tests from dried blood spots. Analysis revealed a high seroprevalence (43.4%) of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. The combination of anosmia and ageusia (OR: 68.11; 95%-CI 24.83–186.80) was predictive of seropositivity. Belonging to the cleaning staff (OR: 1.94; 95%-CI 1.09–3.45), having more than two children in the same house (OR: 1.74; 95%-CI 1.12–2.71), and having been in contact with a close relative with COVID-19 (OR: 3.53; 95%-CI 2.24–5.58) were identified as risk factors for seropositivity in a multivariate analysis. A total of 47.5% of participants had received medication for COVID-19 treatment or prevention, and only ~50% of symptomatic subjects accessed PCR or antigenic testing. This study confirms a massive SARS-CoV-2 attack rate among HCWs in Cochabamba by the end of January 2021. The main risk factors identified are having a low-skilled job, living with children, and having been in contact with an infected relative in the household.

Original languageEnglish
Article number232
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bolivia
  • Healthcare workers
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seroprevalence


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