Thursday 1 June 2023

569 people participate in a study to evaluate the body’s defenses against Covid-19

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QCOSTARICA – 569 people from different communities in the country have been part of the study “Evaluación de la respuesta inmune al Covid-19 en Costa Rica” (RESPIRA) – Evaluation of the immune response to Covid-19 in Costa Rica.

The study participants have blood and saliva samples taken to see if they have defenses against the virus that causes covid-19. Photo: Courtesy ACIB

The research seeks to estimate the prevalence of Covid-19 infection in them and characterize the immune response to the infection (seroconversion, types of antibodies, levels) and its determinants (age, sex, smoking, risk factors, characteristics of the clinical picture), detailed Amada Aparicio, principal investigator of the study by the Caja.

The research seeks to answer the question: What are the characteristics of the immunity generated in a patient recovered from Covid-19?

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Another objective of the study is to estimate the rate of secondary infection and the frequency of clinical involvement by individual and family risk factors among household contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

For this, it is planned to invite 300 families, who will complete a single visit that includes an interview and collection of a blood sample from each member of the family.

So far 35 families have been included with a total of 76 members.

It is planned that at the end of April 2021 the inclusion phase of participants in the study will end.

The study is being carried out by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) along with the Ministry of Health and the Agencia Costarricense de Investigación Biomédica (ACIB) – Costa Rican Agency for Biomedical Research.

The goal is to include in the study 1,000 people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 by PCR test. These cases are chosen at random from the total number of cases that have been diagnosed in the country.

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In addition, 2,000 people who have not been diagnosed with the disease and who are being invited to participate by the team of researchers in specific communities of the cantons of the Greater Metropolitan Area, the central region of Puntarenas and Guanacaste will be included.

Of the 569 people who are already part of the study, 276 people have already suffered from Covid-19 and 293 are control cases.

Among those recruited are 307 women and 262 men, both adults and minors, distributed in both groups.

In addition, 434 people from those already participating with the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) and 135 from Guanacaste communities.

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Both in the case of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and in those who have not suffered the disease, they will be followed for 2 years; This consists of monthly visits with collection of a saliva sample and six-monthly blood samples.

In the group of those who have suffered from the disease during the first six months, both saliva and blood samples will be collected.


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