A team of researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health and Department of Biology in Bloomington have been tapped to lead a nationwide COVID-19 study. The university says the study will examine infection and reinfection of the disease, as well as the potential for long-term immunity to the coronavirus.
The Aegis Study is being funded by a $12.5 million investment from the Chase and Stephanie Coleman Foundation, as well as the #StartSmall Initiative created by Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.
The study is set to begin before the end of the year and run through 2021. IU says the study will seek to enroll 2,100 adults with and without prior infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus who live in locations throughout the country where exposure to infection risk appears elevated.
“The Aegis Study includes a dream team of exceptional investigators, and I am confident that, together, we’ll be able to unlock some of the mysteries around COVID-19 immunity,” said David Allison, co-principal investigator of the study and dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. “Primarily, we want to determine whether prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, the development of antibodies and subsequent recovery from COVID-19 can prevent or, perhaps, mitigate the reemergence of COVID-19. And, if reinfection does occur, is it more or less severe than the initial infection?”
The study will include a follow-up of at least one year. IU says preliminary results are expected in 2021.
“”Through this study, leading public health researchers from IU and around the country will seek to capture critical information about the evolution of COVID-19 and answer the key question of how long the immune system can protect individuals from the virus after they have been infected,” said IU President Michael McRobbie. “As such, this study promises to have important implications for the effectiveness and longevity of a vaccine for the virus.”
Kevin Maki, adjunct professor at IU’s Department of Applied Health Science is the other co-investigator for the study. The team also includes additional researchers from IU, as well as George Washington University, the University of Iowa, the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Attia Medical, Sema4, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.