20th July 2020
3 min read
Luxembourg’s Rotary Clubs support COVID-19 research
LIH researchers receive donation for COVID-19 neutralisation study
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4 Rotary Clubs of the Grand Duchy joined forces in support of Luxembourg’s research on the novel coronavirus, raising a special fund. The selected project is NEUTRACOV, led by Dr Danielle Perez Bercoff at the LIH Department of Infection and Immunity (DII), which received a generous donation of EUR 30,000 from the Rotary Clubs on June 19th.
One of the major challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is the current lack of specific drugs and vaccines against coronaviruses in general and against the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. Moreover, little is known about immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and the efficacy and duration of the antibody response. Passive immunization of patients with severe or critical COVID-19 manifestations using the plasma from recovered patients – a technique known as plasmapheresis – is one possible approach to treat severe cases. This method has been used in the past to treat other lethal viral infections such as SARS, MERS or Ebola, and clinical plasmapheresis protocols to treat COVID-19 are underway in the US, France and at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL).
“The aim of our project is to provide an accurate and useful tool to maximize the efficacy of plasma transfusions as a viable therapeutic option for COVID-19, thereby tangibly improving patient outcomes. Moreover, the test will be a valuable tool for the development of a vaccine. We are therefore extremely grateful to the Luxembourg Rotary Clubs for their generous donation”, says Dr Perez Bercoff.