Prevalence of Sars-Cov-2 Igg Antibodies in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

illustration of lungs with cystic fibrosis

Little is known about the prevalence or disease course of COVID-19 in the population with the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis (CF). As the majority of individuals with CF have chronic lung disease marked by structural changes, chronic colonization by multiple pathogenic bacteria, and recurrent respiratory exacerbations resulting in loss of lung function, this population is considered to be high risk for severe disease if infected with any virus, especially that of SARS-CoV 2.

Led by Joanne Billings, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, Medical School, researchers in this study will evaluate the prevalence of COVID-19 in the CF population in Minnesota during the first six months of known viral presence.

“While the extent and devastating effects of COVID-19 on the global community continue to emerge, its effects on the CF community are lacking. Data suggest that COVID-19 in this patient population may be similar to that of the general population but the natural disease course is unknown, including the ability of individuals with CF to mount an effective immune response,” said Billings. “We propose to identify those individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2 as evidenced by antibody production and to monitor IgG antibody levels over a one year period.”

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.