1,000 persons undergo antibody test at CFTRI

1,000 persons undergo antibody test at CFTRI

July 10, 2021

To assess vaccination efficacy and correlation with lifestyle changes like smoking, food habits

Mysore/Mysuru: The Phase-3, Pan-CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Phenome India Sero-Survey Camp (antibody test) has been going at CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, since Wednesday. 

This three-day survey, which was supposed to end yesterday, continued today also. 

As against the target of 1,000 people, 838 persons have undergone this survey till yesterday and the rest covered today.

What is Sero-Survey?

A Sero-Survey involves testing of blood serum of a group of individuals and this will be used to monitor trends in prevalence of SARS-COV-2 infection at the district-level. 

The surveillance will be conducted with key stakeholders and State Health Departments. The facility-oriented surveillance (like now at CFTRI) is an expansion of the testing of flu and serious respiratory cases in hospitals being carried out by the Government.

A more focused population-based Sero-Survey of high and low-risk groups is in addition to routine testing. The move will not only help the Government and its agencies monitor COVID-19 trends but also check for community transmission in any part of the country. 

Assessing antibody levels in blood

This survey aims at estimating both qualitative and quantitative antibody levels in the blood, breakthrough Coronavirus infections, vaccination efficacy and its correlation with other lifestyle changes, including smoking, food habits, age, etc. 

It also estimates the presence of underlying comorbidities in vaccinated (first or both doses) or in those naturally infected individuals including children in the age group of 5 to 18 years.

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 The Camp was open to all students, staff, retirees and their family members. This study assumes significance because compared to the fourth phase ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) national Sero-Survey, this survey is a longitudinal study. Thus, antibody levels of the individuals are comparable with the previous two surveys.

 Further, considering possible threats particularly from the highly transmissible Delta variant and other circulating mutants and the third ripple/wave, which is predicted to occur anywhere between October and November this year, the survey provides the vaccination efficacy,  immunity status, sustainability of antibodies in vaccinated or naturally infected individuals, including in children, said Dr. Sridevi Annapurna Singh, Director, CSIR-CFTRI.

Vaccination efficacy 

Additionally, it helps assess if vaccination has assisted in developing herd immunity. The survey provides crucial information about breakthrough COVID infections, to take adequate measures, formulate guidelines including targeted vaccination of individual groups and provide nutritional strength to children less than 18 years of age.

 This Pan-CSIR survey is the initiative of CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), New Delhi, with Dr. Shantanu Senugupta as the project leader in collaboration with other 38 CSIR sister labs.

Dr. Parigi Ramesh Kumar, Head, Information and Publicity of CFTRI, said this survey will indicate whether people need to take the booster dose in the wake of the threat of the third wave. The results of this survey will be forwarded to the Union Government which will take a final call in consultation with the subject experts. 

 Ultimately, it is aimed at reducing the mortality rate. This survey will conclude today, Dr. Parigi Ramesh Kumar added. 

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Dr. Prakash M. Halami, Coordinator and members, Dr. Muthu Kumar, Dr. P.V. Ravindra, Dr. Gopinath, CFTRI Medical Officer Dr. Avilash S. Rani and a group of volunteers were present at the camp.

 Second survey at CFTRI

 It may be mentioned here that the Phase-2 Pan-CSIR study on Sero-Surveillance was held at the CFTRI in February this year. The study was conducted in collaboration with CSIR- IGIB, New Delhi. 

 It was aimed at covering the large population size across CSIR laboratories Pan-India to assess the sustained immune status of an individual and the extent of herd immunity achieved.

 77 percent immunity

 A study on medical personnel, who had taken two doses of vaccine in May 2021, has revealed that 77 percent of them had developed immunity. As many as 140 persons had taken two doses of Covishield vaccine with a four-week gap.


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