Homed-IQ to partner with University Hospital Schleswig- Holstein in large-scale SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Study in Northern Germany

Homed-IQ to partner with University Hospital Schleswig- Holstein in large-scale SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Study in Northern Germany

Written by

Lauren Dobischok
5 September, 2022

Medically checked article All HOMED-IQ content is reviewed by medical specialists

September 16, 2022 — Homed-IQ is happy to announce a new SARS-CoV-2 antibody study collaboration with the German University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Campus Lübeck. This study will record the antibody levels of a population of adults and children in the region of Schleswig-Holstein, with the aim of determining the number of people who do not yet have any antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as those that have had an infection with or without being symptomatic. These values will be then used to estimate the population risk of disease in future waves of SARS-CoV-2, and advise future control measures and control initiatives. 

Since the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in early 2020, five infection waves have been recorded in Germany. While many residents of the Schleswig-Holstein region have been vaccinated and have subsequently prevented additional cases of serious illness, the rise of the Omicron variant and a relaxation of control measures means that the number of positive cases are rising rapidly. While there is some information available on individuals’ vaccination history and recovery, there is a lack of data on how many people in the Schleswig-Holstein region currently have antibodies against the virus. Although the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus does not guarantee complete protection, they can be protective against severe disease and also indicate where booster vaccinations may be needed. Looking towards the fall/winter and potentially a new wave of COVID-19, measuring population antibody levels allow researchers to identify the number of people with no antibodies at all, as well as the potential risks of a future SARS-CoV-2 wave. 

The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study Schleswig-Holstein (S4H) will be conducted by the UKSH’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and Institute for Social Medicine and Epidemiology, along with partner company Homed-IQ, a medical testing platform that offers a variety of laboratory-analyzed health tests in which the test sample is collected from home. Homed-IQ also provides end-to-end services for health research projects, including study set-up, provision of test kits, logistics, customer service, and results sharing. Starting in September 2022, 9000 people between the ages of 18 and 85 living in Kiel, Ostholstein, and Westküste will be randomly invited to take part in the study. Furthermore, children between the ages of 5 and 17 will also have the opportunity to take part in the study during routine examinations at their pediatrician. 

Adults can register for the study online. Following registration, participants will be sent a self-testing kit in which users can easily take a blood sample via a finger prick followed by depositing a few drops of blood on a paper test card. The sample is then sent to Monchengladbach-based Labor Dr. Stein + Kollegen and analyzed for spike and nucleocapsid proteins against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, using the Anti-SARS-CoV-2 QuantiVac ELISA (IgG) and the Anti-SARS-CoV-2 NCP ELISA from Lübeck diagnostics company EUROIMMUN Medizinische Labordiagnostika AG. In addition, study participants will be asked to answer a short online questionnaire to assess factors such as vaccination status or previous SARS-CoV-2 infections. Within a few days, participants will receive their test result in Homed-IQ’s secure results portal. 

The results of the study are expected at the beginning of October and will be used to determine the proportion of the population with recent SARS-CoV-2 infections and antibody levels after different vaccination strategies. The Homed-IQ and the S4H research team look forward to the study results and learning more about how SARS-CoV-2 antibody status can inform future public health policies.

More information can be found about the S4H study here.

About Homed-IQ

Homed-IQ is a leading health services company that is committed to empowering individuals to take charge of their health by providing end-to-end health testing services. With a mission to better both individual and public health, Homed-IQ delivers world-class diagnostic solutions that use evidence and technology to improve the health testing experience. To learn more about Homed-IQ, visit www.homediq.com.

About EUROIMMUN Medical Laboratory Diagnostics AG

EUROIMMUN is an international provider of medical laboratory products for autoimmune, infection, allergy and molecular genetic diagnostics. The company’s portfolio encompasses indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA), ELISAs, immunoblots, radioimmunoassays, chemiluminescence immunoassays (ChLIA) and molecular genetic test systems and spans over a thousand diagnostic parameters. EUROIMMUN commands extensive know-how and a broad technology base allowing research, development and production to optimally meet the customer needs. To learn more about EUROIMMUN, please visit www.euroimmun.de.

About Labor Dr. Stein + Kollegen

Labor Dr. Stein + Kollegen is a top supplier of laboratory diagnostics in Germany and is a part of the Limbach Group. The laboratory processes more than five million samples a year and provides services to hospitals, general practitioners, and government organizations. From basic diagnostics to specialized analyses,Labor Dr. Stein + Kollegen offers scientific expertise, innovative testing methods, and personalized medical advice to all customers. Learn more about Labor Dr. Stein + Kollegen at www.labor-stein.de.

About the author

Lauren Dobischok

Lauren is a health scientist and science communicator currently living in the Netherlands. Originally from Canada, she completed a Research Master’s in Health Sciences at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam (NIHES) with a specialisation in epidemiology. Prior to her master’s degree, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. With a background in public health, her goal is to create accurate scientific content that is easy to understand and empowers people to make informed decisions. Within Homed-IQ, Lauren works as a Product Developer and Content Lead, working closely with physicians and scientists on medical devices for Homed-IQ’s new products and written communications.