Start of HZI’s nationwide antibody study

District of Reutlingen is the first region chosen for serological testing in the population

Scientific data indicate that many COVID-19 cases are not recorded due to mild or asymptomatic infections. For this reason, there is at the time no sufficient data on how many people in Germany have already been infected and thus have established a presumed immunity against SARS-CoV-2. However, these data play an important role in assessing and forecasting the further course of the pandemic.

In this context, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig is conducting a nationwide project. The MuSPAD project (Multi-local and Serial cross-sectional Prevalence Study on Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Germany) aims at improving knowledge on the actual spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections and the corresponding immunity in different population groups in Germany over time. This provides the ground for recommendations on how to effectively contain the current corona pandemic in Germany and, at the same time, normalise public life as much as possible. The results will offer the opportunity to better assess the impact of new measures. Antibody detection against SARS-CoV-2 in blood samples provides valuable information for answering these questions.

The district of Reutlingen has now entered into a cooperation agreement with the HZI. From 1 July 2020, the test centre will be operated by the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe at the former parcel post site in Reutlingen. The HZI designed the study, under the direction of Prof. Gérard Krause, head of the Department of Epidemiology. The Centre is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating the process, together with the participation of the district’s health office. The city of Reutlingen provides a site for the test containers. The study teams consist of HZI and Johanniter’s staff specially trained for this purpose. Initially, tests will be performed centrally in one laboratory. Later, they will be confirmed and further analysed at the HZI and the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen. In order to ensure a representative regional sample, MuSPAD participants will be contacted individually. Participation in the study for people who have not been specifically selected is not envisaged, as this would lead to bias in the results. Consequently, voluntary reporting of participants is not possible.

The whole Press Release from the district of Reutlingen you can find here.

Original article