The PIENTER Corona study  aims to find out how the novel coronavirus spreads among the general Dutch population.

Why this study?

In the Wuhan region in China an outbreak of a novel coronavirus, also called SARS-CoV-2,  was reported in December 2019. The virus can cause COVID-19 disease. The virus has also spread in other countries all over the world. Much is still unknown about this novel coronavirus. Scientific research is needed to learn more about the virus, the spread of the disease and the development of herd immunity. 

What do we study

The aim of this study is to find out how the novel coronavirus spreads among the general Dutch population. To determine this we measure antibodies in the blood of people of all age groups. 

Most patients with this virus have fever and respiratory complaints. While most patients have relatively mild complaints, some patients have severe complaints. Nevertheless all persons who have been in contact with the virus will generate antibodies. By measuring the antibodies in the blood we will know how many people have been in contact with the virus. 

Sign up

To register for this study you will need the study number from the personal invitation.

Who is invited to participate?

In 2016/2017 RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment conducted a study among the Dutch population of which approximately 7600 persons participated. This was the PIENTER 3 study. The study was conducted in the period before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The same persons who participated in the PIENTER 3 study are now invited to participate in the new PIENTER Corona study.   

Anyone receiving a personal invitation can participate. We hope that you feel healthy, but possibly you currently have symptoms or maybe you have recently been ill. This does not matter, in either case, you are welcome to participate since it is important to get an overview of the general population.

The previous PIENTER 3 study was performed before the novel coronavirus outbreak. Rest blood material that was stored from the PIENTER 3 participants who consented in storage can now be used to study the novel coronavirus. In this new PIENTER Corona study, we will take blood samples during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which we can compare with the previous blood sample of the same participants.

Measurements of antibodies over time will give important information about the spread of the virus and the possible development of herd immunity. That gives us the opportunity to study the entire period before, during and after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

What participation involves

If you participate, you are asked to fill in a questionnaire 3-6 times and collect a fingerprick blood sample from yourself (self-sampling). This will take place over a period of 1.5 years. The number of times that we will approach you for the fingerprick and questionnaire will depend on the course of the corona epidemic.
In addition to this, you can also participate in the infection radar of RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment . For this you need to make an account on www.infectieradar.nl
The PIENTER Corona questionnaire will be completed at home and also the self-sampling of blood through the fingerprick can be done at home.  So you do not have to come to a consultation hour at a location.

If you participated in the PIENTER 3 study and you would like now to participate in the new PIENTER Corona study, please read the information for participants carefully. 

Once we received your application we will send you a  package. This package contains an informed consent form, as well as everything needed for the fingerprick blood collection.

In case of any questions about the study, please send us an email

Collect a fingerprick blood sample from yourself

Please send the completed and signed informed consent form together with the small tube with the collected blood. Use the supplied plastic medical envelope. This medical envelope with the transparent lockable bag is specially designed for safe transportation of blood. The plastic medical envelope is provided with a return address and can be sent by regular post. It is important that you also fill in the PIENTER Corona questionnaire on the same day. In order to help you with the fingerprick collection, we added an instruction guide to the package. You can also find a video instruction on the website Here you can see how to perform a fingerprick blood sample from yourself.

General information

This study is being conducted by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ). The medical ethics committee MEC-U has approved the study.

General information about medical ethical approval of medical research can be found on the website of the Rijksoverheid.

Contact details

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment research team
You can ask questions to the RIVM research team from Monday to Friday from 9:00 - 15:00 at telephone number: 030 ‐ 274 32 99. Please specify that you participate in the PIENTER Corona study. Or by e-mail: PIENTERonderzoek@rivm.nl.