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Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 16;8(12):ofab524. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofab524. eCollection 2021 Dec.

A Multidimensional Cross-Sectional Analysis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Seroprevalence Among a Police Officer Cohort: The PoliCOV-19 Study.

Open forum infectious diseases

Parham Sendi, Rossella Baldan, Marc Thierstein, Nadja Widmer, Peter Gowland, Brigitta Gahl, Annina Elisabeth Büchi, Dominik Güntensperger, Manon Wider, Manuel Raphael Blum, Caroline Tinguely, Cédric Maillat, Elitza S Theel, Elie Berbari, Ronald Dijkman, Christoph Niederhauser


  1. Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  2. Division Operations, Cantonal Police Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  3. Interregional Blood Transfusion, Swiss Red Cross, Bern, Switzerland.
  4. Clinical Trials Unit, CTU Bern, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  5. Department of Emergency Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  6. Department of General Internal Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  7. Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
  8. Hôpital du Jura bernois SA, Saint-Imier, Switzerland.
  9. Division of Clinical Microbiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.
  10. Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

PMID: 34888394 PMCID: PMC8651158 DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofab524


BACKGROUND: Protests and police fieldwork provide a high-exposure environment for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. In this cross-sectional analysis, we investigated the seroprevalence among a police cohort, and sociodemographic, work, and health-related factors associated with seropositivity.

METHODS: Study participants were invited for serological testing of SARS-CoV-2 and to complete online questionnaires. Serum neutralization titers toward the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (expressing D614G) and the Alpha and Beta variants were measured in seropositive study participants.

RESULTS: A total of 978 police personnel representing 35% of the entire staff participated from February to March 2021. The seroprevalence was 12.9%. It varied by geographic region, ranged from 9% to 13.5% in 3 regions, including the city; and was 22% in Bernese Seeland/Jura with higher odds for seropositivity (odds ratio [OR], 2.38 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.28-4.44],

CONCLUSIONS: The seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies of police officers was comparable to that reported in the general population, suggesting that the personal protective equipment of the police is effective, and that household contacts are the leading transmission venues. The level of serum antibody titers, in particular that of anti-spike antibodies, correlated well with neutralization capacity. Low antibody titers acquired from natural infection were not effective against variants.


© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Keywords: anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; coronavirus disease 2019; police officers; seroprevalence


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