The University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge University Hospital are launching the sponsorship project Help us prevent new outbreaks: discovering asymptomatic carriers, which aims to carry out a cross-sectional study of the SARS-CoV-2 infection screening and its seroepidemiology in a representative sample of the university community of the UB.
The study will be carried out in a representative and proportionate population of 5,000 people from the different groups of the University (students, administration and services staff, and teaching and research staff), randomly chosen and who will be invited to participate. The research project, which will begin on December 9, will run for four weeks and it is expected to be released in the second half of January.
Through PCR tests and serological studies, possible asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected people will be identified at the University. The study will improve the knowledge on the epidemiology of the disease in the university context, formed by a predominantly young group on which there are few studies. People who test positive will enter the standard circuit for monitoring, isolating and managing the disease established by the Department of Health of the Catalan Government.
The project is coordinated at the Bellvitge Campus by the UB professor of Pharmacology Francisco Ciruela and by the Management Office of the Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB-GTMS). The team of researchers who will carry out this project is made up of experts in project coordination, as well as in the detection, treatment and prevention of communicable diseases, and in the design of health epidemiological studies. Specifically, among the participants in the study are Antoni Trilla, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health; Sebastià Videla, head of the HUB’s Research Support Unit and professor at the UB; M. Ángeles Domínguez, head of the Microbiology Service at the HUB and professor at the UB; Esteve Fernández, professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the UB, and Teresa Vinuesa, professor at the UB. The research team counts on the participation of M. Pilar Delgado, director of the Nursing School and professor at the UB, and Núria Fabrellas, professor at the UB and member of the Nursing School. Other members who take part in the project are Marta Sancho, coordinator of case monitoring in Primary Care, and members of the UB Medical Services and the Health, Safety and Environmental Issues (OSSMA) .
This project counts on the support from Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona.
The project, which is included in the UB Sponsors 2020 initiative, has an initial goal of 100,000 €, which will be used for the acquisition of essential tools and support material to carry it out: serological tests, tests for the detection of COVID-19, epMotion 5075t robot, which allows RNA extraction in an automated manner, and a state-of-the-art thermocycler for specific testing of this coronavirus.
The profits from this year’s UB Solidarity Basket will be used to support this study.
Els investigadors expliquen el projecte en aquest podcast: