Antibody screening in blood donors
Starting January 12th, 2021, all blood donors scheduled for donation have been asked for consent to analyse an extra sample for SARS-CoV-2 antibody. The project will provide up-to-date information about the prevalence in the donor population during the second wave of infection, and allow calculations of the number of asymptomatic infections within this group. The frequency of asymptomatic infections may inform infection prevention policy in the blood center. Also, donors have requested such testing to be performed.
The analysis will be performed using a multiplexed bead-based flow cytometric assay, referred to as microsphere affinity proteomics (MAP), which has been adapted for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Antibody-positive donors will be contacted and recruited for follow-up with new tests in conjunction with future blood donations to provide insight into duration of antibody production. Participants will also be invited to donate blood samples for T-cell studies to extend ongoing projects within T-cell immunology, and for the general covid-19 biobank at OUH. In addition to the generation of important knowledge about immunity, the project will allow donors with high antibody levels to be recruited to donate Covid-19 convalescent plasma within the Norplasma project. Lastly, if these same donors become vaccinated, important information about how they respond to the vaccine can be collected, in comparison with vaccinated non-exposed individuals.