CDC plans sweeping COVID-19 antibody study

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly planning a nationwide study of up to 325,000 people to track how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading, Reuters reported earlier this week.  

The study is expected to launch sometime this summer and will blood samples from donors in 25 metropolitan areas for antibodies created when the immune system fights the coronavirus.

A preliminary version of the study will be led by the Vitalant Research Institute in California and test the first 36,000 samples from donors in Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, according to Reuters.

The CDC has not yet formally announced its portion of the study, and could not be reached for comment at press time, but Reuters said the agency will expand the scope and time frame, taking samples over 18 months to see how antibodies evolve over time. The CDC study will test blood from 1,000 donors in 25 metropolitan areas monthly for 12 months. Researchers will then test blood from another 25,000 donors at the 18-month mark.

The goal of the study is to locate antibodies created by the body in response to the presence of COVID-19. The study should also help researchers better understand whether the immune response decreases over time. The results will be published on a rolling basis, the researchers said.

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