What Happens After the Pandemic?

Titer-testing can help researchers pinpoint high-risk areas.

Christian Doppler and Christian Wechselberger
Christian Doppler and Christian Wechselberger

In cooperation with the Vienna University of Technology, GENSPEED Ltd., and the active support of the Chamber of Pharmacists in Upper Austria, researchers at the Department of Pathophysiology (JKU Faculty of Medicine) have assessed options to conduct simple and comprehensive titer testing in different areas of Upper Austria to test for serum antibodies to protect against SARS-CoV-2. The findings were recently published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (doi: 10.1007/s00216-022-03966-z).

At the end of 2020, GENSPEED Ltd. began offering antibody titer testing at pharmacies throughout Upper Austria. Researchers are now studying the data of test participants that have recovered in an attempt to learn more about the frequency of naturally occurring COVID-19 infections. In addition, researchers detected distinctive immune responses when studying those who have been vaccinated.

Based on regional antibody titer testing, scientists have been able to, for example, identify areas with lower-than-average rates of vaccination. By applying comparative measures, researchers have drawn conclusions about developing sufficiently high numbers of antibody titers that can protect against infections among the general population.

The study findings show that a target-oriented approach in an effort to check the current populations’ immune response could include area-wide and easily accessible testing options.  This way, scientists can identify areas where there are lower levels of immune protection on account of an infection or vaccination ahead of time and put corresponding safety measures and protocols into place in more a timely manner. In an effort to contain future outbreaks, applying these kinds of simple and preventative measures in an ongoing and proactive manner over the past two years during the pandemic has already proven effective. Let’s continue taking these lessons to heart during the post-pandemic period and stay alert!