Molecular Microbiology (Virology)
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene
University Regensburg


Funding: Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Arts (StMWK) and National Research Network of the University Medicine (NUM; applied surveillance and testing; B-FAST)
Full title:Tirschenreuth-Kohorte-Covid-19 study

The Bavarian county of Tirschenreuth was one of the first “Corona hot-spot” areas in Germany, as it was hit by a severe outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 connected to a beer-festival in March 2020, which lead to a high incidence of (PCR-positive) cases and a remarkably high case fatality rate (CFR) of 11.5%. As it was unclear at this point of time if the CFR is based on insufficient identification of cases or on other unknown effects, the Tirschenreuth-Kohorte-Covid-19 (TiKoCo19) study was started to determine the actual seroprevalence in the county in collaboration with the FAU Erlangen and the LMU Munich.

The study utilized a population based randomized sampling approach from government register, subsequently, 6608 residents of the Tirschenreuth area aged at least 14 years, were invited to participate in the study. Out of those, 4203 (63.6 %) participated in the study. In the following, blood samples were/will be collected at a central blood drawing at three different time points.

The blood samples are analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies utilizing a variety of tests: the UR inhouse-ELISA, the commercially available Roche COBAS-Elecsys tests and further commercially available tests (e.g. by Shenzhen YHLO Biotech the market leader in Asia). On top, other tests as surrogate and wildtype neutralization assays, binding/neutralization assays regarding the arising variants of concern are used. The aim of the project is to monitor SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence, the surveillance detection ratio and infection fatality ratio as well as antibody stability, reinfections, vaccine effects and other possible effects/correlations with e.g. age, profession or lifestyle factors.

Wagner R, Peterhoff D, Beileke S, Günther F, Berr M, Einhauser S, Schütz A, Niller HH, Steininger P, Knöll A, Tenbusch M, Maier C, Korn K, Stark KJ, Gessner A, Burkhardt R, Kabesch M, Schedl H, Küchenhoff H, Pfahlberg AB, Heid IM, Gefeller O, Überla K. Estimates and Determinants of SARS-Cov-2 Seroprevalence and Infection Fatality Ratio Using Latent Class Analysis: The Population-Based Tirschenreuth Study in the Hardest-Hit German County in Spring 2020. Viruses. 2021 Jun 10;13(6):1118.

Einhauser S, Peterhoff D, Niller HH, Beileke S, Günther F, Steininger P, Burkhardt R, Heid IM, Pfahlberg AB, Überla K, et al. Spectrum Bias and Individual Strengths of SARS-CoV-2 Serological Tests—A Population-Based Evaluation. Diagnostics. 2021; 11(10):1843.

Peterhoff D, Einhauser S, Beileke S, Niller HH, Günther F, Schachtner M, Asbach B, Steininger P, Tenbusch M, Peter AS, Gessner A, Burkhardt R, Heid IM, Wagner R, Überla K. Comparative Immunogenicity of COVID-19 Vaccines in a Population-Based Cohort Study with SARS-CoV-2-Infected and Uninfected Participants. Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Feb 18;10(2):324.

Einhauser S, Peterhoff D, Beileke S, Günther F, Niller H-H, Steininger P, Knöll A, Korn K, Berr M, Schütz A, et al. Time Trend in SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity, Surveillance Detection- and Infection Fatality Ratio until Spring 2021 in the Tirschenreuth County—Results from a Population-Based Longitudinal Study in Germany. Viruses. 2022; 14(6):1168. 

Molecular Microbiology (Virology), Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Regensburg
Institute of Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Hospital Regensburg
Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, University Hospital Erlangen
Statistical Consulting Unit StaBLab, Department of Statistics, LMU Munich
Department of Genetic Epidemiology, University of Regensburg
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital Regensburg
University Children’s Hospital Regensburg (KUNO) at the Hospital St. Hedwig of the Order of St. John, University of Regensburg
Bayerisches Rotes Kreuz, Kreisverband Tirschenreuth
Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)