Research Projects (Third party funds)


Multi-local and serial cross-sectional prevalence study on antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Germany

MUSPAD.jpgOngoing research shows that the number of non-reported COVID-19 cases is high due to mild or asymptomatic infections. As a result, it is difficult to estimate the number of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 and, hence, its mortality rate. Gaps in information have proven to be a strong liability in the context of epidemics, challenging public health decision making and real-time tracking of changes.  

At the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), the Department of Epidemiology has designed a population-specific field-based seroprevalence study in Germany. In partnership with researchers and on-site public health agents, this cross-sectional study aims at detecting specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in human blood samples collected from district-level populations. Thus, it is possible to identify infected individuals via antibody detection, even if they have never received a positive test result nor experienced any symptoms. Moreover, it will be possible to identify potential risk- and protective factors, via the collection of epidemiological data, such as demography, clinical history and living conditions. Selected districts will receive follow-up visits to collect information on the course of the immune response.

The nationwide antibody study started on July 1 in Reutlingen as a pilot region.

The results of this and other studies on SARS-CoV-2 offer the opportunity to develop informed strategies to contain the advance of the pandemic in Germany.

Further Information

If you take part in the study and have further questions about it, contact us via:


Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers


  • Prof Dr Gérard Krause

    Head of Department Epidemiology

    Portrait of Gérard Krause, head of department.


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