Population study investigates immunity to Covid-19
HZI coordinates project on the prevalence of coronavirus antibodies
After an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, patients have antibodies against the pathogen in their blood. These are retained over a long period of time and are an indication for a past infection. It is assumed that patients who have recovered from the Covid-19 disease cannot be re-infected with SARS-CoV-2. To date, no data are available on whether there is an unrecognized Covid-19 immunity in the population beyond the SARS-CoV-2 infections recorded. The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig is now coordinating a study to investigate this question. Anonymous sera from more than 100,000 donors will be analyzed in the population study. The blood will be regularly tested for antibodies against the Covid-19 pathogen. The study will provide a more accurate picture of immunity and pandemic development.
“Immune individuals could be issued with a kind of vaccination certificate, which would allow them to be exempted from restrictions on their activities, for example,” said Prof Gérard Krause, head of the HZI Department of Epidemiology, to the SPIEGEL.
Project partners of the study, which is coordinated by HZI epidemiologist Gérard Krause, are the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), the blood donation services, the NAKO Health Study, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Institute of Virology at the Berlin Charité.
"SPIEGEL” reported in detail on the project on 27.03.2020 (in German).
Unfortunately, no volunteers can participate in the studies currently planned by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research to determine antibodies against the Covid-19 pathogen, as the representativeness of the studies must be guaranteed.