13 May 2020

Genetics could unlock the answers to understanding COVID-19

The Intensive Care Society is delighted to hear the announcement that Dr Kenneth Baillie, ICS Deputy Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh, will be leading the national research study in to the genetic blueprints of severely ill COVID-19 patients to find out why the disease affects some more seriously than others.

The study is a collaboration between the Genomics England, GenOMICC (Genetics of Susceptibility and Mortality in Critical Care) and NHS England and will enable genome sequencing of up to 20,000 COVID-19 patients and an additional 15,000 who have had mild symptoms.

By studying the genome sequences of these patients, the team hope to understand the link between the virus and why patients display different levels of symptoms, with some becoming critically ill and others experiencing none.

Outcomes from this important study will unlock crucial data in to COVID-19 and help to provide the evidence needed for scientists to identify potential vaccines to be run through clinical trials.

The Society has been delighted to support and fund Dr Baillie over the years as he set up GenoMICC – a global study launched in 2016 aimed at understanding the body’s variation in genetic responses to different infections.


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