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SIREN – SARS-COV2 immunity and reinfection evaluation; The impact of detectable anti SARS-COV2 antibody on the incidence of COVID-19 in healthcare workers

Trial Status: Closed to recruitment - in follow up

COVID-19 is causing a global pandemic. This study aims to find out whether healthcare workers who have evidence of prior COVID-19, detected by antibody assays (positive antibody tests), compared to those who do not have evidence of infection (negative antibody tests) are protected from future episodes of infection.
In this study, we will recruit healthcare workers to be followed for at least a year and study their immune response to the virus causing COVID-19, called SARS CoV2. We will do this by collecting data on their history of COVID-19 infection and any new symptoms. All NHS staff who deliver care to patients are being asked to have a nose and throat swab every other week in order to detect mild cases or cases who do not have symptoms. This is the main test that is currently used to detect and diagnose infection. It looks directly for the virus in the nose and throat. Once the infection is cleared, we cannot detect virus in samples. Therefore, we will also ask these individuals to have blood samples taken every other week to determine whether they have antibodies to the infection. These blood samples allow the previous infection to be detected as the response to infection in the body is to produce small particles in the blood called “antibodies”. It takes up to 4 weeks to make enough antibodies to fight the infection. But once someone recovers, antibodies stay in the blood at low levels– this is may help prevent us from getting infected with the same infection again. However, for SARS CoV2 infection we do not know yet if the detection of antibodies protects people from future infections. Through this study, we will provide this very important information which will help to understand the future impact of COVID-19 on the population.