When was the last time your entire family got together?
How is it possible that in many cases when someone has the Coronavirus, family members living in the same house do not become infected? The RIVM, the University of Groningen and the UMCG will use data from the Lifelines Corona study to investigate how the transmission of the virus takes place within families. To this end, 500 families in the Northern Netherlands are to be examined to check for antibodies in their blood, reports the GIC.
Testing will determine whether other family members that were asymptomatic still have Coronavirus antibodies. If so, it means that they have had the virus, possibly unnoticed. This can be used to answer important questions, for example, it can be checked how well these people are protected from getting the Coronavirus again and whether they will respond differently to vaccination. The extent to which elderly people infect younger housemates and vice versa, according to the UMCG, is also being investigated.
Lude Franke, professor of Genetics at the UMCG, says: “For the Lifelines Corona study, we have been following participants intensively since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. We have now sent them a questionnaire 19 times and asked them, among other things, whether they had complaints that could be associated with a corona infection. This information, together with the data from serological research, provides new insights into infections in households. We have already found places on the DNA that can cause people to become seriously ill more quickly from a corona infection, perhaps there are also places in the DNA that ensure that people are protected against getting Coronavirus or symptoms. ”
Thanks to the Lifelines Corona study, the North has a unique collection of health data. The study is a collaborative initiative involving thousands of Lifelines participants from three generations. That is why there are already many families where blood has been collected from different family members in recent months.
In 18% of the participating households with children, at least one family member was infected with the Corona, as can be seen on www.coronabarometer.nl