The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics will be carrying out a study to aiming to assess the level of coronavirus immunity among the Cyprus population.
The Institute announced on Tuesday that the study, that has been green-lit by the National Bioethics Committee of Cyprus, will focus on the detection of antibodies in people who have been found positive for the virus, in those who tested negative, and in those who were never tested for coronavirus.
According to the leader of the study, director of the department of molecular virology Dr Christina Christodoulou, the study will be carried out islandwide, through the taking of blood samples from volunteers who will have to sign a consent form.
Dr Christodoulou described the study as “particularly important”, noting that it is expected to provide important insight to the local scientific community as regards the ability of the immune system to form antibodies against COVID-19.
The study, she said, will also provide information regarding the effectiveness of the immune system’s response against the various antigens of the virus.
Dr Christodoulou highlighted that the aim is to make use of the experience and expert knowledge acquired during this difficult period in order to effectively tackle the coronavirus health crisis.
She called on members of the public who are aware that they were found positive for coronavirus, with or without symptoms, but also those who tested negative or who were never tested, to take part in the study.
A broad participation of the public will assist in the reaching of conclusions that would be invaluable for those attempting to better understand the behaviour of the specific virus, she said, as well as the response of the immune system.
Dr Christodoulou highlighted that such insights are valuable for virology, pharmacology, and in the creation of protective molecules and vaccines for treatment and prevention purposes.
According to George Krasias, a researcher at the Institute, the findings of the study are expected to provide valuable practical directions, as those who have tested positive for the virus and who may have potentially developed immunity, could become blood donors, with their blood used to treat coronavirus patients.