New Delhi, May 25: Serosurvey has created lots of curiosity in the fight against COVID 19 which aims to monitor the trend in prevalence of the infection. Few serosurveys are currently underway in the country to evaluate the way the virus is spreading. What is serosurvey: A serosurvey involves testing of blood serum of a group of individuals to determine the presence of antibodies against that infection. In other diseases such as measles, rubella, polio serosurvey has been utilised which aims to check the effectiveness of vaccination programmes.  The serosurvey for COVID 19 will help to evaluate the way the virus is spreading. India Now Among Top 10 Countries Worst Hit by COVID-19 Pandemic.

How India is doing its serosurvey: The government is launching a serosurvey in 10 hotspot cities which includes Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Delhi to estimate the extent of community transmission of the Covid 19 which nearly contributes 70%of India’s total caseload. This will be in addition to surveillance exercise that will test nearly 24,000 blood serum samples from 69 districts across 21 states. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will test 500 samples for the presence of antibodies against SARS CoV 2 in 10 cities which will amount to the overall testing of 5,000 samples in these cities.

The survey which starts this week will use the antibody testing kits developed by the National Institute of Virology. The cities that will be a part of the survey include Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Thane, Jaipur, Chennai, and Surat. Another serosurvey is currently underway in 69 districts across 21 states.

This will be a population-based serosurvey to monitor the trend in prevalence of the infection at the district level which is being done by ICMR. This includes various districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal among others. Apart from these two surveys, the government has also planned a health facility-based surveillance in all 733 districts in which 400 samples from healthcare workers and outdoor patients from randomly picked government and private hospitals will be tested using both diagnostic RTPCR and antibody tests.

"We have huge potential for testing the corona suspected patients. We are testing everyone who is coming for it. Those who have any symptoms or any suspicion should come forward and get tested. We have started a national level survey. To find out in our society how many people would have been inflicted by the disease, we are conducting serosurvey," said Raman Gangakhedkar, Scientist, ICMR.

"We are trying to develop a vaccine in association with Bharat Biotech under the Make in India initiative. Additionally there are two initiatives to develop vaccines is from ICMR," added Gangakhedkar. Serosurvey in other countries: Many countries including the US, Netherland, Denmark, and Germany have conducted the serosurvey. The study shows that the virus has not yet infected a big portion of the screened population.

In USA the blood samples of 10,000 adults who have no confirmed history of infection with SARS-CoV-2 will be analysed for two types of antibodies—anti-SARS-CoV-2 protein IgG and IgM. Additionally, the researchers will evaluate volunteers’ immune responses to the virus. In Germany a three-phase study which involves serological testing on blood from donation centers, followed by testing on blood samples from coronavirus regional hotspots and then the country’s broader population will be conducted by Robert Koch Institute, the country’s disease control and prevention agency which will be Eurorona ope’s first large-scale COVID-19 antibody testing.

Additionally, a World Health Organization (WHO) coordinated follow-up study toits Solidarity Trial named Solidarity 2, will “pool data from research groups in different countries to compare rates of infection”.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 25, 2020 09:21 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website