RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment is launching a survey-based study this week on risk factors for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The participants in this study are people who get tested for COVID-19 in a GGD test lane. The CONTEST study aims to achieve a better understanding of why some people become infected with the coronavirus while others do not. The study also provides information on the effect of vaccination.
Although source and contact tracing does provide some insight into the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands, it is not always clear where an individual was infected. It is also unclear why some people get COVID-19 and others do not. Other factors may also increase the likelihood of infection, such as the family situation or type of profession.
Comparing people with negative and positive test results
In the CONTEST study, information is being compiled about the spread of the virus. Everyone who makes an appointment to get tested by the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) can participate in the study and will receive an invitation to fill in a survey. The link to the survey can be found in the confirmation e-mail of your COVID-19 test appointment. The survey responses of people with a negative test result and people with a positive test result are compared. By doing so, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment can determine which factors increase or decrease the risk of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
“It is important for people to fill in the survey before they receive their test results,” says Susan van den Hof, head of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance (EPI) at RIVM. “If you know you have tested positive for COVID-19, your survey answers may be different than if you know you have tested negative. We hope that the CONTEST study will soon give us information to identify the factors that increase the risk of infection, pinpointing them even more accurately and in more detail."
COVID-19 vaccination campaign
The first people in the Netherlands were vaccinated against COVID-19 over the past month. The CONTEST study also collects data on whether a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19. By collecting the data, the researchers can contribute to mapping the effect of COVID-19 vaccination.