The COVID-19 host genetics initiative brings together the human genetics community to generate, share, and analyze data to learn the genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility, severity, and outcomes. Such discoveries could help to generate hypotheses for drug repurposing, identify individuals at unusually high or low risk, and contribute to global knowledge of the biology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease.
Helsinki’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) spearheaded the project which already has interest from partners worldwide, including: FIMM, Regeneron, Illumina, Helix, Erasmus MC, Gencove, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), SciLifeLab. The UK Biobank, one of world’s largest with DNA data for 500,000 participants, also plans to add COVID-19 health data from participants to its data set.
The COVID-19 host genetics initiative is a bottom-up collaborative effort that has three main aims:
1. Provide an environment to foster the sharing of resources to facilitate COVID-19 host genetics research (e.g. protocols, questionnaires).
2. Organize analytical activities across studies to identify genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.
3. Provide a platform to share the results from meta-analytical activities to benefit the broader scientific community.
At present there are more than 100 studies participating in the initiative and they have launched a portal to allow exploring studies, research questions and foster collaborations.
To read more about the initiative visit their website