Thank you for being such kind and generous supporters for our Barts-MS COVID-19 antibody study. It is clear that Prof G running the virtual NYC marathon this weekend, or next, depending on the weather, is not going to get us to the finish line. Therefore, we are going to take your advice and launch Barts-MS webinars. The webinar idea was suggested by one of you in the comments when we launched our fund-raising campaign.
There will be a limited number of places to watch these webinars, but to be allocated a ticket we are expecting viewer’s to make a microdonation towards our fundraising efforts so that Drs Ruth & Kang can start and complete our COVID-19 or coronavirus seroprevalence study.
At the end of the antibody study we should be able to answer some of the following questions:
- How many pwMS in the UK have antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2?
- What type of antibodies are they, i.e. IgM, IgG or IgA, what is the titre or level of these antibodies and are they neutralising? Neutralising means they inhibit coronavirus infection of cells in culture.
- How many pwMS seroconverted who had documented COVID-19, possible COVID-19 or no history of COVID-19?
- What is the seroconversion rate on different DMTs?
- We also hope to follow a group of pwMS longterm with repeat testing to see how long these antibodies last and to see how many seronegative pwMS convert to becoming seropositive with time.
- When a coronavirus vaccine or vaccines emerges we able to use the assay to see who makes an antibody response or not and hence we plan to compare different response rates on different DMTs.
The following are some suggestions for topics for the webinars:
- What are arguments for and against HSCT as a first-line treatment for MS?
- What is on the horizon for treatment of advanced MS?
- What will the management of MS look like in 2030?
- How can we make MS prevention a reality?
- What is smouldering MS and is it treatable?
- How are we managing MS during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Will I be able to have a coronavirus vaccine when one arrives?
- Etc …..
These topics are not fixed in stone. If you have any suggestions let us know. Do you have any problems with us running these webinars? Would you be interested in attending? How do you feel about having to donate to attend the webinars?
For those of you interested the following is Prof G’s planned marathon route and if you want to make a micro-donation towards the study please click on the link below.