Efficacy of FFP3 respirators for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers.
Enoch, David A
eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd
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Ferris, M., Ferris, R., Workman, C., O'Connor, E., Enoch, D. A., Goldesgeyme, E., Quinnell, N., et al. (2021). Efficacy of FFP3 respirators for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers.. Elife, 10 https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.71131
Background: Respiratory protective equipment recommended in the UK for healthcare workers (HCWs) caring for patients with COVID-19 comprises a fluid-resistant surgical mask (FRSM), except in the context of aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). We previously demonstrated frequent pauci- and asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection HCWs during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, using a comprehensive PCR-based HCW screening programme (Rivett et al., 2020; Jones et al., 2020). Methods: Here, we use observational data and mathematical modelling to analyse infection rates amongst HCWs working on 'red' (coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19) and 'green' (non-COVID-19) wards during the second wave of the pandemic, before and after the substitution of filtering face piece 3 (FFP3) respirators for FRSMs. Results: Whilst using FRSMs, HCWs working on red wards faced an approximately 31-fold (and at least fivefold) increased risk of direct, ward-based infection. Conversely, after changing to FFP3 respirators, this risk was significantly reduced (52-100% protection). Conclusions: FFP3 respirators may therefore provide more effective protection than FRSMs for HCWs caring for patients with COVID-19, whether or not AGPs are undertaken. Funding: Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, NHS Blood and Transfusion, UKRI.
epidemiology, global health, infectious disease, microbiology, viruses
Wellcome Trust (108070/Z/15/Z)
Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) (900275 Minute 47/20B)
Medical Research Council (MR/P008801/1)
MRC (via University of Warwick) (MR/V038613/1)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.71131
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/330556
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/