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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2011, Article ID 407505, 5 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Influenza A (H1N1) Seropositivity in Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers in Scotland at the Height of the Global Pandemic

1Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG, UK
2Centre for Population Health Sciences, Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
3West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow G12 0ZA, UK
4St John's Hospital, Howden Road West, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6PP, UK
5Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK
6MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK

Received 31 May 2011; Revised 7 August 2011; Accepted 7 August 2011

Academic Editor: Ivo Iavicoli

Copyright © 2011 Kate Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. We set out to identify the level of previous exposure to influenza A (H1N1) in unvaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) at the peak of the pandemic outbreak in the UK, with control samples collected prior to the outbreak. Methods. Cross-sectional study (seroprevalence assessed before and at pandemic peak, with questionnaire data collected at peak of outbreak) in HCWs in Scotland. Results. The prevalence of seropositivity in 493 HCWs at pandemic peak was 10.3%, which was higher than the prepandemic level by 3.7 percentage points (95% CI 0.3% to 7.3%, ). Seropositivity rates for frontline and nonfrontline HCWs were similar. Conclusion. At pandemic peak, only 10.3% of HCWs were seropositive for influenza A (H1N1), so the great majority were still susceptible to infection at the introduction of the vaccination programme. Few studies have reported on seroprevalence in unvaccinated and asymptomatic participants, so our findings may have relevance to the wider population.