In order to support the Congolese colleagues in the current pandemic, a laboratory training in molecular SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and serology took place at the INRB in Kinshasa.

During a 3-week stay (05.-28.08.2020), Caroline Röthemeier from RKI, Germany and the Congolese ANDEMIA team examined sample material that had been routinely collected from ANDEMIA participants since December 2019. RNA was extracted from over 600 nasal/pharyngeal swabs from patients with acute respiratory symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2. In addition, 480 serum samples were serologically tested for the presence of long-term antibodies (IgG) against SARS-CoV-2. Seropositive samples will now be tested by neutralization test at the RKI.

The local staff trained by Ms. Röthemeier is now also responsible for the analysis within a SARS-CoV-2 antibody study among health care workers and their families in Kinshasa. This study is carried out in cooperation between the RKI, the INRB/Kinshasa, the ITM/Antwerp and the IRD/Montpellier.

This training was financially and organizationally supported by the GHPP project ARGOS and ZIG3/RKI respectively.