In March 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic rapidly moved through the population, the French government decided to lockdown the movement of people to stop the spread, as collective immunization was not an option.
The French Public Health Agency of the Ministry of Health (Santé Publique France) commissioned a study for the serology, prevalence, and evolution of COVID-19 in the French population, including French overseas nationals. The study objective was to monitor the collective immunization, and specifically map the immunization rate by department, region, age and gender over time, looking at the expression of antibodies.
Cerba Xpert (part of Cerba Research) was selected among other companies to conduct this study due to the wide lab network of the Cerba Healthcare* Group which provided a unique capability to prospectively collect and provide thousands of samples before, during and after the French lockdown.
To meet the study objectives in the shortest time possible, Cerba Xpert deployed additional human resources focused on a 24/7 operation. This agility enabled us to scale up our operations to meet the demands of the intense sampling seen with the rising infection rates, using the PCR test result.
By harnessing the Cerba Healthcare laboratory network and Cerba Xpert, the IVD division of Cerba Healthcare, Santé Publique France will be positioned to publish the results of the study this November. The outcomes of the study will provide insight, allowing the French government to adapt its future strategy in the fight against COVID-19.
Cerba Xpert is now identified and referenced by the French government as a major partner for epidemiological studies. We are honoured to have played a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19 and we are ready to pursue our partnership for 2021.
*Cerba Healthcare is an international network of medical biology laboratories that offers a complete solution in terms of biological diagnostics ranging from the collection centre to the specialty laboratory.