CAVA Study – COVID-19 Capillary And Venous blood Antibody testing study

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Nick Wareham

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge (MRC Epidemiology Unit)

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, COVID, Primary Care

Recruitment Site


Developing ways of collecting blood samples from people at home is important for research and for health care. Traditional methods can be problematic as the process usually involves pricking a finger with a lancet and dropping blood onto special paper or into a blood tube. We aimed to test the use of a new device (OneDraw) to collect dried blood samples and to use them to measure COVID-19 antibodies.

Participation: The study involved 120 volunteers from the NIHR BioResource Cambridge who also provided blood samples by a standard venous blood and finger-prick method. This study showed that dried blood spot samples from the OneDraw device produced comparable results for assessing COVID-19 antibodies as standard blood samples. In separate studies we have also demonstrated the feasibility of this method for participants in their own homes and lower pain scores and higher participant preference ratings. We have now applied the method on 10,647 samples collected using OneDraw devices every 3-months in over 3,000 participants in the Fenland COVID-19 study to study the changing pattern of COVID-19 infection in Cambridgeshire.

We are very grateful to the individual volunteers from the NIHR BioResource who provided blood samples to enable us to undertake this work.

Organisation: This study is organised by Professor Nick Wareham from the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Research publication

Koulman A, Rennie KL, Parkington D, Tyrrell CS, Catt M, Gkrania-Klotsas E, Wareham NJ. 'The development, validation and application of remote blood sample collection in telehealth programmes'. J Telemed Telecare. 2024 May;30(4):731-738 (link)

Main finding

The OneDraw device enables a standardised blood sample collection at home by participants themselves. Due to its ease-of-use and acceptability the OneDraw device is particularly useful in telehealth approaches where multiple samples need to be collected.