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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.