The SYNTHESIS Project, titled “Surveillance System to Observe Seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 in Human,” encompasses both hospital-based and population-based longitudinal studies within Sleman HDSS (Health and Demographic Surveillance System). This initiative was prompted by the emergence of the Systemic Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, which later became known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2 infections, wreaked havoc on both society and healthcare systems worldwide. It differed from the 2002 SARS Pandemic in terms of slower clinical manifestation, increased transmission rates, and a lack of confirmed immunological aspects, transmission dynamics, or risk factors.
The SYNTHESIS Project, initiated in 2021 and ongoing until 2023, is a collaborative, multi-year effort involving Universitas Gadjah Mada, academic hospitals, government bodies, and Perdana University Center for Research Excellence Malaysia. This research is made possible through funding from the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) and Indonesia Science Fund (DIPI), facilitated by the Ministry of Finance’s RISPRO International Collaboration Scheme. The project has been structured around three major research objectives:
The primary objective is to address the pressing need for assays that measure the SARS-CoV-2 antibody response and ascertain seroconversion in the Indonesian population. This observational study is being conducted at the UGM Academic Hospital in Sleman, Yogyakarta, spanning 18 months. The data collected encompasses biosamples, demographic information, clinical characteristics, comorbidities, and clinical parameters linked to seroconversion. The findings from this research will determine the timing and frequency of serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 and provide insights into the severity of patients’ conditions. Ultimately, it will contribute to more precise clinical management and the development of COVID-19 vaccine policies in Indonesia.
Understanding the incidence and risk factors for COVID-19 within the general population is crucial for devising effective disease prevention strategies. The increased contagiousness and higher prevalence of asymptomatic cases in SARS-CoV-2 make this virus more burdensome to public health than SARS-CoV-1. As a result, it is imperative to explore how the virus interacts with intrinsic and extrinsic factors specific to Indonesia. This exploration will shape the determination of risk and protective factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in Sleman District, achieved through a comparative analysis of cases and control groups. It will focus on investigating the factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in the Sleman population.
This aspect of the SYNTHESIS Project aims to establish a robust database management system that can efficiently link and manage data obtained from the previous study objectives, as well as data from UGM-HDSS Sleman, UGM Academic Hospitals, and various government bodies within Sleman Regency. Furthermore, the initiative entails formulating proposals for an open data regulatory framework in Indonesia in collaboration with diaspora partners and stakeholders. This approach will involve the development of data management and data sharing models guided by ethical, legal, and social principles.
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