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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Characterizing Antibody Response to Emerging COVID-19 Virus (CARE COVID-19)

  • Project Leaders: Muhammad Morshed, Agatha Jassem, Inna Sekirov
  • Institutions: BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
  • Budget: $316840
  • Program/Competition: COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2020
  • Status: Closed

To date, COVID-19 infection has been diagnosed solely through laboratory tests that detect viral RNA. These diagnostic tests reveal whether someone is currently infected but do not reveal critical information about the development of immunity, which requires analysis of the antibodies generated by the immune system after infection. More information is urgently needed about the development, duration, and strength of the antibody responses that lead to immunity following infection with SARS-CoV-2. This project will evaluate four new commercial antibody detection platforms to identify suitable genomic tests, known as assays, to reliably detect different types of antibodies that can provide clues about immune response. These assays will be used to profile antibody production against SARS-CoV-2 in both newly infected and previously infected Health Care Workers (HCW) over three months. Findings will reveal how quickly HCW develop an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and how robust this protection is against subsequent exposures they will likely encounter after recovery. This antibody data can be used to immediately inform guidelines for HCW at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, including return to work policies and front-line deployment strategies.