COVID-19 is a key aim of GenOMICC

Susceptibility to COVID-19 is almost certainly, in part, genetic. GenOMICC can find the genes that cause susceptibility, which may help us to prioritise treatments to respond to the global crisis. GenOMICC was designed for this crisis. Since 2016, the open, global GenOMICC collaboration has been recruit patients with emerging infections, including COVID-19. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 in critical care are eligible for GenOMICC; please recruit them as normal, following local infection control precautions.

In particular, we aim to recruit every intubated patient with COVID-19. If you need to prioritise, please start with the youngest.

GenOMICC is prioritised as an NIHR Urgent Public Health Study in the UK

Establish GenOMICC in your country or region

If GenOMICC is not already established in your part of the world, we would be delighted to help you set up. GenOMICC is currently either active or setting up in the following countries:

GenOMICC set-up is designed to make it easy for you to run your own study of the genetic factors underlying critical illness. This can be in collaboration with us, or independent - it's up to you. Our hope is that, ultimately, we will be able to work together either to replicate findings, or to combine genetic signals, in order to make discoveries that advance our understanding of critical illness.

Setting up

Click to see the full study protocol and related documents.

To establish recruitment, you will need to obtain local/regional ethical and management approval (from a research ethics board, institutional review board or equivalent). In different legal jusrisdictions this may require some changes to the consent forms. Recruiting a patient is easy and takes very little research nurse time - around 1h in total is a reasonable estimate, including follow-up. DNA extraction and genotyping can be done in a local or national lab. It is usually easier to do this within the country that the patient was recruited from.

Entry criteria (Global v2.1)

Inclusion criteria

Inclusion criteria are stratified to facilitate recruitment under conditions in which resources are limited (Dunning et al. 2014). Lower tiers include syndromes with a high probability of genetic susceptibility, and will be prioritised in resource-limited settings. Higher tiers describe less-specific syndromes with a focus on mortality.

Patients will be recruited who:

Group 1: specific infectious syndromes in highly-selected patients

Emerging Infections

Emerging infections are by their nature unpredictable and present a significant challenge to the international research community. In order to ensure research preparedness, in accordance with the principles laid out by the International Severe Acute and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC)(Dunning et al. 2014), patients will be recruited to this study if they have confirmed or suspected infection with a novel pathogen, a new strain of an existing pathogen, or a re-emerging known pathogen, that causes life-threatening illness. This will include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), highly pathogenic strains of influenza, Ebola virus disease and other epidemics of viral haemorrhagic fever.

Exclusion criteria

Exclusion criteria do not apply to COVID-19. All consenting COVID-19 patients will be included. For all inclusion categories apart from COVID-19, patients who are functionally limited by any comorbid illness (such as frailty, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or reduced exercise tolerance of any cause) or have significant immunosuppression (such as cancer chemotherapy or acquired immune deficiency syndrome) will be excluded from this study.


The GenOMICC study is supported by Sepsis Research (FEAT), the Intensive Care Society, the Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council.

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