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Background It is critical to understand whether infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) protects from subsequent reinfection. Methods We investigated the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive results in seropositive and seronegative healthcare workers (HCWs) attending asymptomatic and symptomatic staff testing at Oxford University Hospitals, UK. Baseline antibody status was determined using anti-spike and/or anti-nucleocapsid IgG assays and staff followed for up to 30 weeks. We used Poisson regression to estimate the relative incidence of PCR-positive results and new symptomatic infection by antibody status, accounting for age, gender and changes in incidence over time. Results A total of 12219 HCWs participated and had anti-spike IgG measured, 11052 were followed up after negative and 1246 after positive antibody results including 79 who seroconverted during follow up. 89 PCR-confirmed symptomatic infections occurred in seronegative individuals (0.46 cases per 10,000 days at risk) and no symptomatic infections in those with anti-spike antibodies. Additionally, 76 (0.40/10,000 days at risk) anti-spike IgG seronegative individuals had PCR-positive tests in asymptomatic screening, compared to 3 (0.21/10,000 days at risk) seropositive individuals. Overall, positive baseline anti-spike antibodies were associated with lower rates of PCR-positivity (with or without symptoms) (adjusted rate ratio 0.24 [95%CI 0.08-0.76, p=0.015]). Rate ratios were similar using anti-nucleocapsid IgG alone or combined with anti-spike IgG to determine baseline status. Conclusions Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that generated antibody responses offered protection from reinfection for most people in the six months following infection. Further work is required to determine the long-term duration and correlates of post-infection immunity.

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Journal article

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Oxford University Hospitals Staff Testing Group