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.

Blutproben_590x240.jpg©Pixabay/Belova59 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.

The homepage of the study provides background information and details for the selected participants.

Media Invitation

On the occasion of the start of the study, the district of Reutlingen invites to a press tour: Friday, 3 July 2020 at 11 a.m. in the car park of the old "Paketpostamt" Reutlingen, behind the building Eberhardstraße 4, 72764 Reutlingen.

Local contact persons will be available for you:

  • Thomas Reumann, Landrat District of Reutlingen, welcome and introduction
  • Thomas Keck, Mayor of the city of Reutlingen, information about the location at the old "Paketpostamt"
  • Prof Gérard Krause, study leader, information on "Nationwide antibody study on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections

Wolfgang Thomas, regional director of the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. in the Württemberg Mitte regional association, and Dr. Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra, group leader of the Biochemistry group at the NMI in Reutlingen, will also be available to answer questions.

We kindly ask you to register for the press tour by Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at presse@kreis-reutlingen.de, stating the exact number of people.
Please wear a mouth and nose protection and observe the known hygiene measures and distance regulations.

Virtual press kit (PDF) for download (only in German)

Contact for media

Involved Groups


You can find updates on current developments in research and answers to the most important questions in our information portal [more]

Visit the homepage of the study.

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