Gutenberg COVID-19-Study


Epidemiology of COVID-19 in the Population of Rhineland-Palatinate – The Gutenberg COVID-19 Study (A sub-study of the Gutenberg Health Study)

Principal Investigators:

  • Philipp Wild, Univ.-Prof. Dr., M.Sc. (Coordination)
  • Manfred Beutel, Univ.-Prof. Dr.
  • Karl J. Lackner, Univ.-Prof. Dr. 
  • Dr. Thomas Münzel, Univ.-Prof. Dr.
  • Norbert Pfeiffer, Univ.-Prof. Dr. 
  • Konstantin Strauch, Univ.-Prof. Dr. 


Population Sample, SARS-CoV-2

Study design

A single-center, population-based, prospective cohort study

Study population

The age range of the participants is 25 to 85 years. Many participants from the Gutenberg Health Study are to be included in the GCS.

Sample Size



The overall objective of the sub-study is to perform a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the clinical epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The primary objective of the GCS is to investigate the burden of asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in the general population of Rhine-Hesse in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Other objectives of the GCS are:

  • the examination of the spread of the SARS-CoV2 infection in the population
  • analysis of the immunization against SARS-CoV2 (due to an infection or the vaccination) and the determinants for an infection protection
  • quantification of the impact of the pandemic on society
  • evaluation of changes in health care utilization during the pandemic
  • examination of psychosocial, occupational, and lifestyle-associated implications of the corona pandemic
  • identification of risk factors of symptomatic SARS-CoV2 infections
  • investigation of predictors of severity and late effects of SARS-CoV2
  • Analysis of the relevance of infectious diseases to population health
  • establish a sustainable scientific resource for translational research on SARS-CoV2
  • establishment of a biobank for cells of the immune system

Study Schedule

Baseline investigation (1st visit at the study centre)
Follow-up after 4 months (2nd visit at the study centre)
Follow-up survey after 1 year (questionnaire)
Optional - Outpatient monitoring phase (smartphone-based)
Study period (data collection): October 2020 - July 2022


The global COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest societal challenges of the 21st century to date. This applies not only to national health systems, but also to social, economic and geopolitical structures. Reliable epidemiological and medical data are prerequisites for making political, societal, and medical decisions during the acute phase, but also beyond.
The Gutenberg COVID-19 study will be conducted by the University Medical Center Mainz from August 2020 to June 2023 and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It will examine >10,250 individuals in Rhineland-Palatinate who have already participated in a long-term population-based study over a period of up to 12 years, in which extensive biodata and biomaterials were collected at regular examination time points. The Gutenberg COVID-19 study provides a comprehensive, population-representative biomedical and epidemiological data collection on SARS-CoV2 virus infection. In addition, data will be collected on the health and psychosocial consequences of the pandemic, as well as on the measures taken to combat it (e.g., "lockdown").
The data basis created in the first phase of the study will now be used in a second project phase to conduct in-depth and multi-layered evaluations of the available bio-data and materials. The highly standardized data collection at two measurement time points creates the possibility to evaluate prospective data on the Corona pandemic. An interdisciplinary research consortium will investigate the individual and societal health effects of the pandemic and the measures taken (e.g. medical care, vaccination). Furthermore, clinical molecular studies of SARS-CoV2 infection from available biomaterial samples (i.e., blood, stool, tear film) will be conducted to identify novel approaches to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the disease. The sample size, combined with the high granularity of the available data as well as the data collection on the study participants, allow for an analysis of specific subgroups (e.g., risk groups), also taking into account age- and gender-specific differences. Thus, the project has the potential to make an important contribution to the assessment of the consequences of the Corona pandemic in Rhineland-Palatinate and its management by providing scientific knowledge.

Web links
Dashboard of the study: