We were hoping to do a UK-wide seroprevalence study in UK residents with MS to see how many had seroconverted to become anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody positive and to see if there are differences in seroconversion rates between people on different DMTs. Unfortunately, our source of funding has fallen through.
Based on recent insights we would predict that people on ocrelizumab would have lower titres of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titres, be more likely to be seronegative despite a history of COVID-19 and less likely to have neutralizing anti-spike protein RBD (receptor binding domain) antibodies than patients on other DMTs. Answers to these questions are really important for the MS community, have safety implications for pwMS and will address questions around vaccine readiness in the future.
In addition to the cross-sectional analysis, we want to follow the seronegative pwMS over time to study how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and monitor the development of herd immunity in the MS population.
To do the first part of this study we need £25,000 to cover the costs of posting out blood spots and doing the initial assay. As this study is time sensitive we need to raise the money ASAP. Applying for grants will take too long. It has been recommended that we crowdfund this project. The question we want to ask you the MS community do you think this study is important enough and are you willing to help raise the money for us?
The results of this study will help the MS community prepare for a vaccine and whether or not the herd immunity strategy is working.
Please let us know your thoughts. Thank you.