Corona-the blood test starts: How many people were already infected?
The number of people infected with the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, to rise unabated. Not at all, the infected with the new pathogen, show symptoms. Therefore, the Virus is detected in these individuals is rare. A large-scale blood test will now show how many people were already infected.
The German center for Neurodegenerative diseases (DZNE) is asking approximately 5,000 participants of the “Rhineland study” for a new study on the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to a blood test. According to a notification, the screening aims to show how many people were already infected with the Coronavirus, and whether they developed no, mild, or severe symptoms.
Participants will be tested for antibodies
The blood of the Study participants will be tested for antibodies to the novel Coronavirus.
By comparing these findings with data on health, lifestyle and immune status, which were collected in the course of the “Rhineland study,” for the most part, hope that the researchers new knowledge about the pathogen and how various health factors affect a Coronavirus infection.
“This can contribute to the development of measures of prevention and therapies”, explains Prof. Monique Breteler, head of the Rhineland study.
The DZNE researcher also had the idea to do this, the data collected to date in the fight against the Coronavirus to use. To use “these resources, it is obvious”, the researcher is convinced.
Very different disease courses
The SARS-CoV-2 Virus can trigger serious medical problems. As the Federal centre for health education (BZgA) on your Portal “infektionsschutz.de” explains the cough and fever as the most common signs of illness reported.
Further signs of the disease pain can, among other things, shortness of breath, runny nose, muscle and joint, neck pain and headaches. Of an impairment of smell/sense of taste is also commonly reported.
Also courses of the disease with severe lung inflammation to lung failure and death are possible.
On the other hand, however, there are also those who do not remember, apparently, even that they are infected. “Why some people are resistant to this Virus and other are not, is an open question. Pre-existing conditions may play a role. In Detail, however, is largely unclear“, says Breteler.
“We assume that our Study participants both convalescent corona virus patients in whom the disease was detected, as well as a certain degree of underreporting, which has developed no symptoms. Through the blood we can figure out whether or not antibodies have been formed, and an infection was present.“
Information on possible immunity
The blood test is free of charge and the result will be communicated to all study participants. “The Rhineland study is a true treasure for such a research. Now I hope that our participants will support us in this project,“ said Breteler.
“You will be among the first in Germany, the know, whether you already have antibodies that were made specifically against the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, and you can now assume that they are immune,” says the scientist.
“We need a massive participation. We are equipped with all the Blood samples to carry out in the next two to three weeks. In half a year, we are planning a follow-up study to find out how the number of people with antibodies, until then, more has developed.“
Cooperation with the Berlin Charité
“To the blood tests, all of the previous participants of the Rhineland invited to the study. It is a prerequisite that you have on the day of blood collection, no cold symptoms. Who suspects to be acute to Covid-19 ill, should not apply to us, but not necessarily a doctor,“ warns Breteler.
The information, according to the “Rheinland study, is working” closely on this project together with the Institute for Virology at the Campus Charité Mitte. Its Director, Professor Christian Drosten, was convinced of this possibility, the Coronavirus to understand it better, quickly.
His laboratory is the Bonn-collected blood samples for specific antibodies to the new Coronavirus to investigate.
The DZNE indicates that it places the highest value on the protection of the health. “Our scientists want to contribute to addressing this worldwide crisis,” explains Prof. Pierluigi Nicotera, scientific Director and Chairman of the Executive Board of the DZNE.
“When we open up the premises of the Rhineland study for this research, we will protect both our employees and the participants in the study according to the highest Standards. In this case, the University hospital of Bonn advises and supports us.“ (ad)