The SAMS Study

Understanding COVID & Other Pathogens In South Africa

The Epicentre team is back in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, testing South Africans in the second of three surveys for antibodies against COVID-19 and other diseases.

What is The SAMS Study?

SAMS = the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and multi-pathogen serosurveillance study

Seroprevalence = a blood test that tells us if a person has antibodies against COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. These antibodies can come from vaccinations or from being infected with the disease.

Why Are We Doing The SAMS Study?

The number of people testing for COVID-19 is dropping, but it’s still important we still watch what COVID and other diseases or ‘pathogens’ are doing in South Africa.

Who Are Our Study Partners?

The study is being done by Genesis Analytics and Epicentre together with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

What Are We Hoping to Achieve?

✔ We are developing and testing multi-pathogen bead-based immunoassays = Basically antigen tests that look for multiple diseases.

✔ Measuring the number of positive COVID-19 cases over 3 surveys with the aim of estimating how many people in total are infected at different points in time.

✔ Estimating the ‘attack rate’ of the 4th and future waves of COVID-19 in South Africa and comparing it to past waves.

✔ Monitoring COVID-19 antibodies to see, as time passes, how they respond to both infections and vaccines.

✔ Estimating the ‘COVID-19 disease burden pyramid’ = basically getting the data for scientists, so we can understand in each wave, how many:

– COVID-19 infections (symptomatic & asymptomatic) are happening,

– COVID-19 cases are being reported,

– COVID-19 cases result in hospitalizations

– & Deaths are due to COVID.

✔ Describe the size of annual epidemic waves and how seasonal respiratory (breathing related) viruses, like influenza and RSV, attack particular age groups.

✔ Describe how many people have antibodies to key pathogens included in the expanded programme on immunization. This will help identify the immunity gaps which will guide vaccine introductions and schedules.

Establishing a platform for repeated population-based serosurveillance for diseases of public health importance in South Africa = basically creating

✔ To assess the different anti-spike binding antibody patterns which will help to inform our understanding of which variants of COVID-19 dominantly circulating and differentiate between recent and historic infections

✔ To establish influenza and RSV microneutralization assays (tests how antibodies are inhibiting a virus) to assess the impact of seasonal viral evolution on the antibody response to these respiratory (breathing related) viruses (e.g. COVID-19, the flu, etc).

Helping Animals in Need

Those who partake in our study can will either get a R100 shopping voucher or donate their voucher to Kitty and Puppy Haven. This renowned shelter needs our support to change the lives of little their animals.

Donations will be used to feed and de-worm puppies and kittens in their care.

How Will Our Research Findings Help South Africa?

Our findings will be presented to the National Department of Health, South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium, the COVID-19 incident management team (IMT) and ministerial advisory committee (MAC) to directly inform policy.

Data on other pathogens found in this study will be reported to the South African National Advisory on Immunization (NAGI). Our findings will help guide decisions on which vaccines need to be introduced, scheduled, what immunogen (stimulus that makes the immune system respond) have changed, or what activities need to be done to increase vaccine coverage.

Who Is Epicentre Health Research?

We’re an NGO with 21 years of expertise in the South African health research industry.

Our Guarantee is evidence based, structured & planned, electronically executed, monitored & evaluated, and customized to meet each research project’s needs.

Like Our Articles?

If you want to read more articles like this, join our monthly newsletter! We release insider info on what the health research industry is taking a look at each month.

Book with Epicentre

For 20 years Epicentre has been fighting South African’s infectious diseases, and now we’re taking on COVID-19! We are a company founded on a vision, ending disease in South Africa! So we believe in making an IMPACT.

We are an independent organization that is committed to creating a positive impact on health & wellness for all in South Africa. We want to close the gap between unscreened, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled HIV & COVID-19 infections as well as other chronic diseases for all South Africans.

By booking your tests with Epicentre, you are supporting a real local company that has worked for 20 years in all 9 provinces, from Pollsmoor prison to Constantia; & you’re getting a gold standard service that experts trust!

Epicentre Special Deals

We offer free and heavily discounted tests as they are subsidized by research organizations that are looking to use this anonymous information to investigate various research questions, like can people test themselves for COVID?

10% Off All Walk-In Lab Tests

Only for pensioners at all branches.

Free Blood Pressure Tests

With all Walk-In Lab tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

R50 pensioners discount!

Epicentre offers

Walk-In Lab

Please note that our packages are just a guide, you can pick any of these tests in these packages, add extra tests or take out any tests. Choose what suits your needs!

Women’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Women’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Men’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Men’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Arthritis Package

Athletes Total Wellness Package

Diabetes Monitoring Package

Diabetes Screening Package

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Package

Comprehensive Weight Loss Package

Kidney Package

Liver & Pancreas Package

Long COVID Package

HIV Monitoring Package

HIV Screening Package

Iron Deficiency & Anaemia Package

Menopause Package

Women’s Fertility Test Package

Men’s Fertility Test Package

STI Screening Package

Thyroid Screening Package

Laboratory Typhoid Test


Measles Test Package

Drive Through

Drive-Thru COVID Tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

(R250 with a R50 pensioners discount!)

Drive-Thru COVID-19 PCR Testing


Home based COVID-19 PCR Testing

(R1150 + travel over 50kms)

Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Tests

On Sale! (R150)

Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 12hrs)


Cape Town Only

Extra Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 4-5hrs)


Cape Town Only

International Flight Testing Package

(PCR + Antiviral Mask)


Contact Us

Ready to talk? Contact us today for a free consultation!