Epidemiological and genetic correlates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in the hospital with the highest nosocomial infection rate in Taiwan in 2003

Yi Ming Arthur Chen, Shu Yuan Liang, Yi Ping Shih, Chia Yen Chen, Yuan Ming Lee, Ling Chang, Shiao Ying Jung, Mei Shang Ho, Kung Yee Liang, Hour Young Chen, Yu Jiun Chan, Da Chen Chu

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Abstract

Taiwan experienced a series of outbreaks of nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) infections in 2003. Two months after the final outbreak, we recruited 658 employees from the hospital that suffered the first and most severe SARS infections to help us investigate epidemiological and genetic factors associated with the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). SARS-CoV infections were detected by using enzyme immunoassays and confirmed by a combination of Western blot assays, neutralizing antibody tests, and commercial SARS tests. Risk factors were analyzed via questionnaire responses and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles. Our results indicate that 3% (20/658) of the study participants were seropositive, with one female nurse identified as a subclinical case. Identified SARS-CoV infection risk factors include working in the same building as the hospital's emergency room and infection ward, providing direct care to SARS patients, and carrying a Cw*0801 HLA allele. The odds ratio for contracting a SARS-CoV infection among persons with either a homozygous or a heterozygous Cw*0801 genotype was 4.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 12.9; P = 0.007).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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