Research Projects (Third party funds)


Blood self-collection in epidemiologic research: Feasibility and acceptance of a novel DBS-technology-based device (ongoing project)

The collection of biomaterial in epidemiologic studies, namely venous or capillary blood puncture is challenging for both, the study team and participants. This is related to logistic constraints like time spent, travel, human resources involved, sample shipping and pre-analytic handling. Dried blood spots (DBS) have been applied in countries and populations where traditional blood collection is difficult, e.g. in low resource settings or among people who inject drugs. However, most of the DBS collection cards require assistance by medical- or paramedical staff and tools for home-based self-sampling of blood are not widely used, nor have they been sufficiently studied. One available device that is based on DBS technology provides new features regarding the protection, collection, and shipping of samples. This device also states to be applicable for self-collection of blood samples. However, there are no data on feasibility of this device for self-sampling. It has not been confirmed how the device performs in direct comparison with the gold standard of blood collection, i.e. venous blood draws by medically trained person, for the analyses of serological markers for infectious diseases.

The aim of this study is to investigate practical feasibility and acceptability of blood self-collection in a convenience sample of 150 voluntary individuals using the aforementioned device. We are exploring the accuracy of the new method by comparison of the two sampling methods with regard to antibody detection against hepatitis A virus (HAV) and tetanus toxoid. The project will draw conclusions on the laboratory handling of the new device and, based on the results, comment on its applicability in epidemiologic and other research studies. 

Funding Agency

DZIF – German Center for Infection Research (FlexFund via TI African Partner Sites)


Project Leaders

Dr. Stefanie Castell
Deputy Head of Department for Epidemiology

Dr. Jördis Ott


Funding agency

DZIF - German Centre for Infection Research

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