The Indiana University School of Medicine is launching a study to understand immunity to COVID-19. IU Researchers say the statewide study aims to find out how immunity can develop and change over time in children and adults who live in Indiana.

IU says the study is called DISCOVER, which stands for “Development of Immunity after SARS-CoV2 Exposure and Recovery.”

Led by Dr. Chandy John and Dr. Alka Khaitan, the study will examine four different groups:

  • People who have had symptoms of COVID-19, and tested positive for the disease
  • People who have had symptoms of COVID-19, but tested negative or were not tested
  • People who did not have symptoms of COVID-19, but have been exposed to the disease
  • People who did not have symptoms of COVID-19, and have not been exposed to the disease

“By comparing people who have varying levels of symptoms and exposure to COVID-19, we’ll be able to get a better understanding of how immunity originates and how long it can last,” said John, professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. “We want to look at immune responses in both children and adults, because understanding the development of immunity in both groups is important to guiding vaccine development, and to understanding how the virus spreads in the community, even in those without symptoms.”

IU says people who participate in the study will need to provide four blood samples over the next two years, allowing researchers to see changes over time. Participants will also receive results of each of their tests and will be paid $25 for each draw.

The university says blood samples and data will be collected via the Indiana Biobank study to test for antibodies and other immunity markers.

Dr. John is also co-leading a study tracking asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19, including children. The study was highlighted by Inside INdiana Business Special Projects Reporter Kylie Veleta in this month’s Life Sciences INdiana newsletter.

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