UNITED STATES—Up to 10,000 employees from Major League Baseball teams will be part of a study in an attempt to discover antibodies to fight COVID-19.
Out of the 30 MLB teams, 27 are expected to participate in this study which is being conducted by Stanford University, USC and the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL). Those participating include players, from office staff, concession workers and more.
The study will consist of drawing blood via pinprick and will offer its results within 10 minutes. Researchers are looking for the prevalence of IgM, an antibody produced relatively early in those who have been infected with COVID-19, and IgG, a second form that doctors say lasts long after the infection happens. Being able to obtain this information will provide a better understanding of how widespread the virus is in higher crowded areas in the United States.
Stanford and USC are also running antibody-testing programs in two California counties to gather additional data. The combined data can possibly assist politicians in determining a clearer sense on when it might be able to safely “reopen” the country.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, will assess the data gathered and write a peer-reviewed paper he hopes to publish as early as next week.
Researchers will gather the results of the tests, which have been distributed to individuals throughout the game and already taken by some. The results will be uploaded along with a photograph of the test itself that allows medical personnel to verify the results. The test looks similar to a pregnancy test, with a line indicating positive for antibodies.
In addition to this, the participants were asked to take a survey that requests their sex, age, ZIP code, ethnicity, recent behavior in terms of social activity, contact with COVID-19-positive patients, recent ailments, COVID-19 testing status, pre-existing conditions and whether they smoke. This research study is being funded by donors and their donations.