COVID-19: How many people were already infected?
The actual spread of the Coronavirus in the population and the proportion of people that may be already immune, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in several large-scale anti-body to identify studies. The first will already start next week.
The scientists of the Robert Koch Institute to try to determine in the planned studies, as far as the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is widely used in Germany, in fact, as many people have already made an infection, and what proportion is now, at least for a certain period of time immune. Important information that is missing so far, but the future course of the pandemic significantly influence.
Under-reporting of infections
Although all infections with SARS-CoV-2 in Germany are subject to the reporting requirement, however, is likely to have significant underreporting, as not all Infected so severe symptoms develop that you seek medical attention. Infections with the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are often mild or completely without symptoms, explains the RKI.
The PCR Test detects no antibodies
Furthermore, it can be used in the case of suspicion of acute infection is currently the so-called PCR testing, the search for the genetic material of the Virus (usually in a throat swab specimens). To what extent were already formed antibody that plays during the Tests, however, no role.
Antibodies form one to two weeks after infection
Meanwhile, Tests for the detection of antibodies, however, are available that can determine a previous infection. The antibody can be, at the earliest, one to two weeks after infection demonstrate. The RKI will use these Tests to gain in various studies, more accurate insight into the outbreak happened.
Investigation of blood donations
Thus, for example, be made from next week in collaboration with the blood transfusion services in all 14 days for serological testing of 5,000 blood samples to allow conclusions to be drawn on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the population. “First results are expected in early may, 2020”, thus, the communication by the RKI. In the laboratory analysis of the RKI working closely with the by prof Christian Drosten headed the Institute for Virology of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Studies of the Hotspots for COVID-19
Similarly, the RKI plans, “seroepidemiological studies of several of the most affected places (“Hotspots”) in Germany.” For this purpose, be examined in any place around 2,000 participants aged 18 years and, in addition to clinical symptoms, pre-existing conditions, health behaviour, life circumstances and mental health questioned. The beginning of the study, it is provided according to the RKI for mid April, 2020, and the first results could be expected in may 2020.
The aim is “the determination of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in the representative sample of the population samples, the immunity in the population estimate.” Also, the proportion of asymptomatic infections could not be estimated in a better way and, if necessary, can be risk factors for a severe course in of the population can be determined. In the planning and implementation of the RKI with the research works by Prof. Gérard Krause from the Helmholtz centre for infection research in Braunschweig, Germany.
Representative study with 15,000 Participants
Further, it is provided to the RKI according to a nationwide representative of the population seroepidemiological study of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in a nationwide representative sample to be collected. For this purpose, 15,000 persons in the age from 18 years to 150 study places in Germany are to be examined and the Participants will in addition to behavior also to clinical symptoms, pre-existing conditions, health, life circumstances and mental health questioned. “The beginning of the study is expected in mid-may 2020, with the first results expected in June 2020,” the message of the RKI.
Better picture of the SARS-CoV 2-Done
With the help of the planned studies of the RKI hopes important insights about the actual spread of the corona virus, the immunity, the proportion of asymptomatic infections, the mortality rate and risk factors for a severe course in of the population. “From these studies, we expect a more accurate picture of the SARS-CoV-2-Happen in Germany,” summarizes RKI-President Professor Lothar H. Wieler.
“The results of the antibody studies are of great importance to the history and Severity of the pandemic and the effectiveness of the measures taken to better assess, to estimate,” says Prof. Wieler. (fp)