Characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva of healthcare workers in high-risk settings

Funder: OUCRU (Wellcome funding)

Principal Investigator: Maia Rabaa

Location of activity: Vietnam

Purpose

  1. To define the frequency and characteristics of asymptomatic carriage of SARS-CoV-2 in health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients.
  2. To define the frequency of COVID-19 occurring in health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients.
  3. To define the duration of detectable SARS-CoV-2 in health care workers prior to developing symptoms.
  4. To determine whether transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs from health care workers (asymptomatic and prodromal) to community contacts.
  5. To demonstrate the utility of filter paper collection of saliva as a surveillance tool for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  6. To investigate the molecular epidemiology, intrahost diversity and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in health care workers.

Importance

Understanding the risk of carriage and transmission to and by health care workers will enable the design of interventions to reduce this risk. Development of a robust cold chain-independent sampling modality will enable enhanced population surveillance, diagnosis and follow-up.

Primary Objectives

  • Early identification and understanding of the incidence of symptomatic and asymptomatic infection in health care workers.
  • Assessment of the risk of transmission to the community by asymptomatic health care workers.
  • Assessment of filter paper-based saliva sample collection for the diagnosis and sequence characterisation of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Sequence & epidemiological analysis of transmission from infected patients to HCWs (coupling with data collected under other studies).

Outputs to date