2021-03-25Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/7853
Seroepidemiological study on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany:
Study protocol of the ‘CORONA-MONITORING bundesweit’ study (RKI-SOEP study)
Busch, Markus A.
Grabka, Markus M.
Steinhauer, Hans Walter
Schaffrath Rosario, Angelika
Wieler, Lothar H.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has spread rapidly across Germany. Infections are likely to be under-recorded in the notification data from local health authorities on laboratory-confirmed cases since SARS-CoV-2 infections can proceed with few symptoms and then often remain undetected. Seroepidemiological studies allow the estimation of the proportion in the population that has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (seroprevalence) as well as the extent of undetected infections. The ‘CORONA-MONITORING bundesweit’ study (RKI-SOEP study) collects biospecimens and interview data in a nationwide population sample drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Participants are sent materials to self-collect a dry blood sample of capillary blood from their finger and a swab sample from their mouth and nose, as well as a questionnaire. The samples returned are tested for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and SARS-CoV-2 RNA to identify past or present infections. The methods applied enable the identification of SARS-CoV-2 infections, including those that previously went undetected. In addition, by linking the data collected with available SOEP data, the study has the potential to investigate social and health-related differences in infection status. Thus, the study contributes to an improved understanding of the extent of the epidemic in Germany, as well as identification of target groups for infection protection.
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