HOPE Scientific studies
COVID-19 infection and antibodies
Study: Investigation into COVID-19 infection and antibodies.
Collaborating parties: Public Health Agency of Sweden, the National Pandemic Centre at SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and Cytiva (the largest private employer in Uppsala).
Who is responsible for the COVID-19 study?
The investigation is being conducted by Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm in association with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, which has been commissioned by the Swedish government to increase the number of COVID-19 tests and associated sample analysis. The investigation is supervised by Professor Lars Engstrand, Karolinska Institutet.
Karolinska Institutet is responsible for the processing of personal data in the investigation.
Background and purpose
All employees of Cytiva, the largest private employer in Uppsala are given an offer to be tested for COVID-19 infection.
The tests are being conducted in collaboration with researchers from the National Pandemic Centre at SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Testing is conducted as a pilot to test the method of anaylsis developed by the researchers. The investigation will also provide a supplementary picture of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, as well as the presence of antibody responses that indicate previous infection. Cytiva is contributing knowledge and resources to the development of logistics and sample management.
The purpose of the collaboration between Cytiva, KI, KTH and the National Pandemic Centre at SciLifeLab is to give researchers a better knowledge base before large-scale testing is launched.
Using a two-step testing process to test approximately 1,500 employees of Cytiva, the study will contribute to overall knowledge of the extent the spread of the infection in different parts of Swedish society. The first testing period ran from 11 May to 18 June and the second starts in October.
Participation is voluntary for Cytiva employees with participants being allocated times intervals for testing to ensure social distancing.
Simplified test result management through HOPE Corona is used as support in the investigation. People who have a negative result in the first virus test will then give a blood sample within 24 hours for antibody analysis. A laboratory-based method developed at KTH and the National Pandemic Centre at SciLifeLab is used for antibody analysis.
HOPE Corona supports employees via an automated flow that gradullay helps them carry out the test. For example, via HOPE App the user receives: a) information about the study and testing; b) questionnaires to answer; c) notifications every time a new activity is to be performed; d) test results; e) information about who to contact with questions or for advice .
Participating employees are allocated a self-testing kit (stick swab for the nose and throat) by Cytiva. The virus test is taken at home on the same morning as the virus sample is submitted at a site designated by Cytiva. If the virus test is negative, Cytiva staff will be called in for a blood test to test for the presence of antibodies. Employees will receive the antibody test results within a week. Employees have the right to refuse the blood test to test for antibodies even if they have chosen to submita a throat swab for virus testing.
HOPE Corona processes and shares user information in a safe and secure manner with the support of consent under the GDPR.