Researchers are also examining Vorpommern for antibodies

From Ralph Sommer

More and more people are being vaccinated against the novel corona virus across Germany. But how long does this vaccination actually last? The Helmholtz Research Center in Wolgast has now started a large antibody study. A total of 8,000 volunteers are invited for this.

Wolgast. In the Postel Hotel in Wolgast, as many residents as possible from the Vorpommern-Greifswald district are to be examined for the presence of antibodies over the next few weeks. The Helmholtz Center for Infection Research based in Braunschweig started a study on Wednesday. “We have for it overall
8,000 test subjects were invited, who were randomly selected by the residents’ registration offices according to the prevailing age structure, says Braunschweig epidemiology professor Gérard Krause.

“We want to use antibodies to prove how the corona virus spreads.” The reporting procedures of the health authorities alone would not be sufficient for this, if only because not every infection is recognized. With the detection of antibodies, thanks to a new technology, it is also possible to understand what happened in the past. For example, it can be demonstrated whether the antibodies were formed as a result of an illness or as a reaction to a corona vaccination. It can also be seen which virus mutation triggered the formation of the antibodies.

According to team leader Angelika Rath, the tests run as follows: “We write to the test subjects and ask us to make an appointment for an examination at the Wolgast study center by telephone. After an informative discussion, a small questionnaire is filled out with the participants. Then a blood sample will be taken. ” In addition, the participants would receive a somewhat more extensive questionnaire that they could then fill out at home. After completing the examinations in three to four weeks, you will be informed in writing of the personal test results.

The scientific interpretation will take a little longer, says project manager Krause, who had already conducted comparable studies in Reutlingen, Freiburg, Aachen, Osnabrück, Magdeburg and Chemnitz since autumn 2020 and wants to conclude the study with a series of tests in Hanover from June. “For us, the examinations in the far north-east of Germany are particularly exciting because there is suspicion that the virus has been introduced across the Polish border and many people have already been vaccinated.”

The scientists hope that the study will enable them to draw conclusions about how effective the current vaccinations with the various vaccines are, how long the effect of the antibodies produced will last and when, at the latest, booster vaccinations will be required. The same applies to the defenses that have been activated by the body after a natural infection. So far, research has assumed that the protection lasts reliably for about six months.

Gerard Krause

The Braunschweig professor of epidemiology Gérard Krause heads the antibody study on the spread of the corona virus. Photo: JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

The examinations are therefore very important for future vaccination strategies, which will probably have to take effect in autumn, says District Administrator Michael Sack (CDU). He therefore appealed to all residents, who will receive an invitation to this effect in the next few days, to take part if possible. According to the researchers, at least 3,000 of the 8,000 requested subjects would have to face the examinations in order to obtain reliable data.

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Published in Nordkurier on the weekend, issue Saturday / Sunday, 15./16. May 2021

2nd round in Aachen

In Aachen, 3,000 test subjects will be examined again

Once again, several thousand people from Aachen, Eschweiler, Stolberg, Herzogenrath and Würselen have received an invitation from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) to voluntarily take part in the “MuSPAD” corona antibody study. Sampling will take place from January 27th to February 23rd. MuSPAD stands for “multilocal and serial prevalence study on antibodies against SARS-Coronavirus-2 in Germany”. In autumn 2020, more than 2,000 people from the Aachen city region were tested at random.

From this group of participants, people will now be invited – again at random – to a new examination. In addition, other people who did not take part in the first round are written to. A total of up to 3,000 people should be tested in this way. The results are intended to show how infections and the immune status in the population have developed over time. The Aachen City Region supports this study. “The results can help us to better assess the incidence of infection,” says health department head Dr. Michael Ziemons. “Antibody tests allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about Covid-19 infections that have already been overcome, even if they were mild or even asymptomatic and therefore may not have been noticed at all. This also gives us an orientation, for example, as to how high the number of unreported infections in the urban region is.

The main aim of this study is to determine the proportion of the population who have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in their blood and were therefore probably already infected with the virus. In addition, reports from different age groups on symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are analyzed. Another part of this study is the tracking of the infection process over a year and the multiple determination of the antibody concentration in the blood of COVID-19 patients who have actually reported positive. This should provide insights into how long a person has been immune to the virus. Comparisons are also made between the participating districts.

The Helmholtz Center for Infection Research carries out the investigations nationwide in eight selected cities and districts. The test subjects are selected at random and invited to the study center to have their blood drawn. Extensive hygienic precautions are taken on site to prevent possible infection with the new coronavirus during the visit. If it is not possible to come to the study center, for example because the person is not mobile, a mobile team will be available for a home visit. The laboratory and survey data are pseudonymized and scientifically evaluated. Further information can be found online at https: // hzi-c19-
The invitation to participate in a survey by the Office for Inclusion and Social Planning of the Aachen City Region on the social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was sent with the letter of invitation to participate in the study. It is a stand-alone project that is independent of the MuSPAD study. If you have any questions, please contact the Office for Inclusion and Social Planning directly. Information and contact details are available at www.staedteregionaachen. de / covid19-Sozial2.


MuSPAD Logo blue

Mu ltilocal and serial P prevalence study too A. Antibodies against SARS-2 coronavirus in D. Germany

Scientific data indicate that many COVID-19 cases are not recorded due to mild and asymptomatic courses of infection. It is therefore not possible to reliably estimate the number of people who actually had or are infected with SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, the estimate of the death rate from COVID-19 is difficult to estimate. This lack of information also makes it difficult to assess the future development of the pandemic and the resulting prevention strategies. By measuring antibodies in the blood, it is possible to determine how many people have already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (seroprevalence).

The Epidemiology Department of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) is conducting a targeted population-based field study on seroprevalence in Germany in cooperation with various partners from research, emergency services and the public health service. The nationwide antibody study started on July 1 in Reutlingen as a pilot region and is being carried out as a successive cross-sectional study with serological tests to detect specific antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in regional representative samples in several districts with different levels of epidemic activity.

Following this, the development of seroprevalence and immunity over time is examined in a further random sample after a predefined time and information about the course of the specific immune response is obtained. By collecting epidemiological data (e.g. demographics, previous illnesses, living conditions), risk and protective factors in connection with SARS-CoV-2 infection are to be examined.

The findings of this and other seroepidemiological studies on SARS-CoV-2 can serve as a basis for strategies to contain the epidemic in Germany.

Press event at 2020-07-03

MuSPAD Logo blue The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research will start their nationwide antibody study on July 1 in Reutlingen as pilot region. On July 3, a press event will take place at the test center in Reutlingen starting at 11:00 a.m. to present the study.