Quantity, quality, diversity

Patient and population cohorts
across the world

By improving data collection and analysis from a variety of cohorts, we will help the rapid identification and characterisation of emerging variants. Our results will expand beyond COVID-19, impacting the global response to other infectious disease outbreaks.

Our project in a nutshell

We aim to evaluate the circulation and impact of current and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) through the study of well-characterised cohorts across the world.

The continued circulation of
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, causes the emergence of variants due to mutations and deletions in its genome.

Most variants disappear rapidly.
But a few acquire mutations that
make them more transmissible, more pathogenic, or better at evading immunity acquired through vaccination or previous infections. These variants are called variants of concern.

Hence, the need to constantly survey the virus to detect emerging variants of concern, and understand their implications on diagnostics, vaccination strategies and
treatment options.

We will collect data from 28 cohorts in 23 countries to address five key questions:

  • detection and characterisation of emerging variants
  • study of immune evasion and reinfections
  • evaluation of VOC’s ability to escape current treatments
  • explore the causes of Long Covid
  • provide recommendations to improve the management of future infectious disease outbreaks.

A joint effort to improve pandemic management

ENDVOC is divided into eleven work packages (WPs) dealing with eight topics

We will ensure the effective administration, management, and governance of ENDVOC, covering all aspects of project monitoring, reporting, and financial and contractual administration. In addition, we will ensure proper communication within the consortium, guaranteeing that gender and ethical matters are met.

  • WP 1. Project Management – Lead: UCL
  • WP11. Ethics requirements

We will ensure the high-quality and timely collection, curation, harmonisation and reconciliation of cohort data and samples, across communities and countries. We will develop standardised protocols for the generation and analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomic data and establish a surveillance program for the prompt identification of new VOCs.

  • WP2. Data Curation, quality, harmonization and biobanking – Lead: UKHD
  • WP 3. Sequencing and phylogenetics – Lead: UCL

We will study and identify genomic determinants of transmissibility and predict the spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages at the local and global scales.

  • WP 4. Transmissibility – Lead: UCL

We will evaluate the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 variants. We will assess vaccine-induced antibody and cellular immune recognition of variant Spike proteins, explore correlates of protective immunity, and characterise the duration of antibody responses and protection, as well as their determinants.

  • WP5. Immunity and vaccines – Lead: ISGlobal

We will optimise the clinical treatment and overall care of COVID-19 patients. Focusing on those infected with VOCs we will assess a wide spectrum of available, either repurposed or newly developed, treatment options, both targeted and supportive.

  • WP6. Pathogenicity and treatment – Lead: IRCCS
We will use clinical cohorts of mild, moderate, and severe confirmed cases of COVID-19 with sequencing information to investigate the impact of VOCs on the occurrence and type of long COVID.

  • WP7. Long Covid – Lead: UCL

We will perform a policy-oriented assessment of various project outcomes, to transform evidence into regulatory and policy recommendations. These will be aimed at strengthening international research preparedness and networks for future epidemics and pandemics. We will also focus on governance, regulatory, legal, and societal issues. Our goal is to find opportunities to integrate, pool, harmonise and work across, as well as analyse, jointly and comparatively, multiple global cohort studies on COVID-19.

  • WP8. Pandemic preparedness – Lead: AIGHD
  • WP9. Governance and documentation – Lead: UKHD

We will maximise END-VOC’s visibility and impact. By ensuring the timely dissemination of its results to different target audiences we will promote their translation into evidence-based recommendations, enhancing actions by governments and stakeholders. All project activities will follow the established ethics requirements.

  • WP10. Dissemination, exploitation and communication – Lead : ISGlobal