The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct an extensive COVID-19 study to determine the extent of infection and the intensity of the immune response to the new coronavirus,media BGR reported. The nationwide study will analyze blood samples from up to 325,000 donors over an 18-month period. The results will detail the evolution of COVID-19 immunity over time, which is important data for officials to develop better coronavirus control and treatment strategies.
Antibodies produced by the immune system are unique to each pathogen. They roam the body to prevent reinfection. That’s why recovery plasma in COVID-19 rehab can help people with compromised immune systems because they can’t fight disease on their own. Antibody-based drugs are being developed to treat both PATIENTs with COVID-19 and to provide limited immunity to people who are not infected with the disease. Vaccines work the same way, but unlike antibody drugs, they actually teach the immune system to create their own antibodies.
The CDC hopes to study as many as 325,000 volunteers across the United States, and Reuters says it wants to track how the new coronavirus spreads. The study will begin in June or July, and will be tested for 12 months a month from 1,000 donors in 25 urban areas. The researchers will test another 25,000 blood donors in 18 months. Initially, COVID-19 survivors from New York, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston and Minneapolis will be able to donate blood. The next phase will include Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver and more.
The Vitalant Institute will lead the preliminary version of the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Cardiology, Lung and Hematology and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to test 36,000 samples. Dr. Michael Busch, director of the institute, told Reuters that the blood would come from “ordinary, selfless” donors.
The CDC-funded portion will be officially announced this week and will expand the scope and time frame of the study. CDC spokesman Kristen Nordlund says the agency’s goal is to study how antibodies evolve over time. Vitalant will also lead the broader effort.
Nordlund said the researchers’ goal is to publish results on a regular basis, which should give officials insight into how the disease spreads and how well these patients respond to their immune responses.
Similar serological studies have been conducted at the local level. A new Study of 3,000 subjects in New York showed that 20 percent had antibodies, while an antibody study in Boston found that 10 percent of 750 subjects had COVID-19 antibodies. A larger study in Spain found that up to 5 per cent of people may have been infected with the disease, 10 times the number of confirmed cases.