Belgian hospital wants to research immunity to second infection
Thursday, 23 April 2020
A Belgian hospital wants to investigate the extent to which people who have already had the new coronavirus (Covid-19) are protected against a second infection.
The Jessa Hospital in Hasselt (Flanders) intends to launch a pilot study in May, pending approval by the ethics commission, on how much people are protected by coronavirus antibodies, according to Belga News Agency.
Antibodies are proteins that the body develops after having been exposed to a pathogen – coronavirus in this case – and are used by the immune system to fight the disease.
If approved, the study will involve 400 medical staffers who have had mild symptoms indicating a possible coronavirus infection. Both staff members who tested positive and negative will be involved in the study, according to Dr. Nele Van Loon of Mensura, an external service for prevention and protection at work.
The pilot study would be part of a larger effort on protective immunity in Belgium carried out by the Federal Centre for Healthcare Expertise (KCE). As of Wednesday, Belgium counted 41,889 cases of coronavirus, including those who have already recovered from a coronavirus infection.