COVID-19 monitoring of school personnel through molecular salivary test and dried blood spot analysis.

Publication date: Feb 09, 2024

When the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic broke out, most countries enforced school closures as a precautionary measure. Although COVID-19 is still present three years later, schools have been reopened. We aimed to test the association of molecular salivary testing (MST) and dried blood spot (DBS) analysis for community surveillance by investigating the immunological profile of a group of school staff during and following COVID-19 vaccination. We conducted the study in a school in Milan from April 2021, when school staff were administered the first dose of vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, until the school year ended in June 2022. Each participant provided samples for MST and DBS one month (T1, W1) after receiving their first dose of vaccine. Subsequently, they collected weekly MST samples for five weeks (W2-W6), plus a DBS sample in the last week (T2). Both samples were collected one (T3), four (T4), and seven months (T5) after the administration of the second vaccine dose in May 2021. A final DBS sample was collected one year (T6) after T3. Sixty participants provided 327 MSTs and 251 DBSs. None of the MST samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA during the study period. A total of 201 DBS samples tested positive for the IgG semiquantitative analysis. Negative samples were found only at T1 (20. 45%) and T2 (7. 32%). We observed borderline results at T1 (4. 55%), T2 (7. 32%), and T4 (2. 70%). The anti-SARS-CoV-2 average antibody ratio increased after the second dose between T2 and T3, and the trend peaked after the third dose between T4 and T6. We performed an immunoenzymatic assay of antibodies against nucleocapsid protein on samples collected at T1 from five participants who reported having been infected before the study and from four subjects with an abnormal increase in the antibody values at T4. Two samples tested positive in the first group and two in the second one. Our findings show that MST and DBS could be effective tools in the active surveillance of school personnel and that schools could be considered safe settings in view of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccines might have contributed to case and/or symptom reduction.

Concepts Keywords
June Collected
Milan Cov
Pandemic Covid
Vaccination Dbs


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease IDO blood
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease VO vaccination
disease VO dose
disease VO vaccine
disease VO vaccine dose
disease IDO assay
disease VO effective
pathway REACTOME SARS-CoV-2 Infection
disease IDO symptom

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