Phase 1 COVID-19 Immunity - National Core Study

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham

Abstract

The magnitude and quality of a person's immune response remains a central determinant of clinical outcome following SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines now provide an approach for pandemic control. The NCSi programme is designed to co-ordinate and build on UK investments in understanding COVID-19 immunity. These are based around four themes which seek to predict and manage individual risk, protect against acute infection and late effects of infection, prevent primary infection or re-infection, and prepare for future pandemic challenges.

Technical Summary

The magnitude and quality of the immune response remains a central determinant of clinical outcome following SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccines now provide an approach for pandemic control. The National Core Study - Immunity (NCSi) programme in Phase 0 was designed to co-ordinate and build on UK investment in COVID-19 immunity and initiated a number of investments in 2020/21. These were based on four themes which seek to predict and manage individual risk, protect acute infection and late effects, prevent primary or re-infection and prepare for future pandemic challenges.
In Phase 1, these will continue and comprise:
PREDICT:
1. Centre for Cytokine Autoantibodies will interrogate serum sample collections, including those from the NCSi/UKB collaboration, to determine the clinical importance of antibodies against a range of cytokines in order to define clinical risk and develop new therapeutic opportunities.
2. DIRECT: Determining the Immune Response in Ethnic minority healthcare workers to COVID-19 infecTion will determine the importance of ethnicity in relation to immune response to natural infection and post-vaccination.
3. EVITE study of shielding efficacy through evaluation of NHS records, questionnaire responses and blood test results at 12 months after shielding and subgroups such as those with cancer, BAME or living in deprived communities.
4. Asymptomatic COVID19 in Education (ACE) Immunity Study will examine SARS-CoV2 across the (young) population to influence student/school movement policies
PROTECT:
1. NCSi collaboration with UK Biobank will undertake detailed analysis of Covid-specific immune responses and cellular phenotype in a world-leading unique 3000 participant repeat-imaging study.
2. Understand Immune senescence and its impact on natural immunity and vaccine responses in the CAIRO vaccine cohort and associated studies of vaccine response in secondary immune suppression with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia that is seen in older people.
PREVENT:
1. Next Generation Immune Assays will be commissioned to transform the sensitivity, specificity and logistics of serological and cellular assays.
2. Vaccine Responses: The OCTAVE study of immune monitoring after vaccination will be maintained and supported with further investment.
3. Re-infection, vaccine failure and viral Variants of Concern will comprise a portfolio of studies including an open commissioned call to determine mechanisms of inadequate immune protection in (re-) infection after natural or vaccine-induced immunity.

Publications

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