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Nationwide Antibody Study “Living in Germany—Corona Monitoring” (RKI-SOEP)

Completed Project

Project Management

DIW Berlin: Jan Goebel, Markus M. Grabka, Stefan Liebig, Sabine Zinn
RKI: Thomas Ziese, Antje Gößwald

Project Period

September 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Health

In Cooperation With

Robert Koch Institute (RKI)

How many people have already been infected with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2? How many infections have gone undetected?

The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are investigating these questions in the nationwide study “Living in Germany—Corona Monitoring”. DIW Berlin has commissioned Kantar to carry out the survey.

DIW Team

The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) has partnered with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) to conduct the nationwide study “Living in Germany—Corona Monitoring”. To create the survey sample, all adult respondents in the SOEP-Core and SOEP-IS samples were invited to take part. The study has the following objectives:


  1. to use PCR tests to determine the prevalence of acute SARS-CoV-2 infections in the German population based on the SOEP study,
  2. to use antibody tests to assess immunity to the SARS CoV-2 pathogen in the general population,
  3. to gather information on possible symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in the general population,
  4. to generate a new longitudinal database for research on the SARS-CoV-2 infection process,
  5. to establish starting points for researchers in the disciplines represented in the project as well as related scientific disciplines in order to promote exchange among scientists engaged in SARS-CoV-2 research,
  6. to investigate the general willingness of SOEP respondents to participate in self-testing of medical indicators as well as potential selectivity in the willingness to participate, and
  7. to provide long-term research results on the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the study, SOEP respondents are sent PCR and DBS test kits for self-testing, which they send back to RKI for analysis. Respondents also complete a short questionnaire covering topics that include clinical symptoms, pre-existing conditions, and health behavior. Respondents are informed of the results within four to six weeks. Participation is voluntary. The study has been granted ethics committee approval.

Funding: about 1.530.000 Euro

Topics: Health