COVID-19 Research

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The MRC Centre for Environment and Health is contributing to the global research effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEWS:

The REACT programme, the biggest programme of community coronavirus testing that is tracking levels of infection in England has published its first report.

Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the REACT programme at Imperial, said: “Community testing is a vital step in ongoing efforts to mitigate the pandemic, but to be successful this must be based on robust scientific evidence and sound statistics. Through this surveillance programme with DHSC and Ipsos MORI we’re gathering the critical knowledge base necessary to underpin community testing and facilitate a greater understanding of the prevalence of COVID-19 in every corner of England.”

Below is a list of other ongoing and planned projects in this area.

Project Title

Project summary

 

Project status

Centre PI

Aerosol measurements in ICU

High time resolution aerosol size distribution measurements in an intensive care unit (ICU) including assessing aerosol generation from patients under different ventilation methods and procedures. The study also involves personal exposure of front-line staff.
 

Currently active

Dr David Green

SARS-CoV-2 Impact on Air Quality in London

Assessing emission reduction impacts on population exposure and atmospheric chemistry at a time when there is concerted policy effort to reduce the UK’s air pollution health burden. Includes changes to the mixtures of air pollutants, changes to personal exposure, indoors and outdoors. This is an opportunity to study the air pollution impact as we work towards a 'net-zero' world including improving our understanding of model uncertainties.
 

Currently active

Dr David Green

Working title: Establishing the impact of early life  COVID-19 infections on lung growth trajectories and overall respiratory health.

Preliminary evidence from China suggests that although children’s symptoms are mild, they may mask quite significant injury to the airways. Discussions are taking place on a collaboration to prepare an application to UKRI to perform COVID-19 serology testing in the CHILL study. Other health impacts such as asthma can also be looked at with ethics already in place. CHILL aims to study whether the ultra-low emission zone is effective at reducing air pollution in London and improves children's health. The COHORT involves a group of 3,300 children, aged 7-9 years, split equally between London and Luton with a high proportion of BAME children.
 

In planning

Dr Ian Mudway

COVID-19: Community-wide Covid-19 diagnostics via Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (CITYprintC19)

 

Measuring SARS-CoV-2 in urban wastewater to accurately monitor large population-scale infection levels in near-real time.
 

 

 

 

In planning

Dr Leon Barron (ICL, Co-I)
Prof. Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern (Bath, PI)

COVID-19: Multi-Omics for discovery of Novel DIAgnostic and prognostic markers, and potentiaL drug targets (MONDIAL)

The aim is to use a multi-omics approach to analyse data for 800 individuals stratified by severity of COVID-19, 50 follow up samples, identify prognostic and diagnostic (co-infection) signatures. The data generated will also be used to investigate mechanistic hypotheses such as activation of different cellular pathways and excessive inflammatory responses.
 

In planning

(Proposal submitted – under review)

Prof. Paul Elliott

SCAMP: Impacts of COVID19 in an adolescent cohort

Proposal under review to look at the prevalence of COVID 19 symptoms and serology amongst a large adolescent cohort SCAMP (Study of Cognition Adolescents and Mobile Phones), and their households.

The data will be used to
- investigate the association between COVID-19 and ethnicity, socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, to further our understanding of potential susceptibility of BAME groups and identify modifiable risk factors to reduce morbidity and mortality;
- evaluate changes in mental health, physical activity, sleep, digital screen time use during lockdown and beyond in the SCAMP adolescent cohort;
- feed into real time modelling work ongoing at Imperial to inform policy response.
 

In planning

Prof. Mireille Toledano

COSMOS – symptoms prevalence and impacts of COVID19 in COSMOS cohort

Proposal in preparation to study symptoms prevalence and impacts of COVID-19 in the COSMOS cohort. COSMOS is an international cohort study investigating the possible health effects of long-term use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies.
 

In planning)

Prof. Mireille Toledano

Cognitive impacts of COVID19 in the Imperial BioResource, COSMOS, and Airwave cohort

Proposal in preparation to understand the cognitive impacts of COVID-19 in the Imperial BioResource, COSMOS and Airwave cohort. COSMOS is an international cohort study investigating the possible health effects of long-term use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies. The aim of the Airwave Health Monitoring Study is to investigate whether there are any long-term health impacts of Airwave use on police personnel.
 

In planning

Prof. Mireille Toledano

What is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on non-Covid-19 morbidity and mortality?

Study to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-COVID-19 morbidity and mortality including impacts of health inequalities. Findings will inform health policy and resource allocation decisions at local and national level

 

Currently active

Prof. Paul Elliott and Dr Bethan Davies

    

Study of the availability and accessibility of urban parks and gardens during social distancing measures

 

Currently active

Prof. Majid Ezzati

REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT)

REACT-1: Study of SARS-CoV-2 antigen prevalence in England among 100,000 randomly selected people from age 5 years.

REACT-2: Feasibility and usability of lateral flow tests to assess SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels in the general population.
 

Currently active

Professor Paul Elliott

Policy support - COMEAP

Review and assessment of published research on air pollution and COVID19

 

N.A.

Prof. Frank Kelly

Policy support - COMEAP

Discussions with PHE, ONS on possible links between air pollution and Covid-19

 

N.A.

Prof. Frank Kelly