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About BQC19

Principal investigator
Lay Summary
Lay title
Bernard Nicole
Do Fc receptor polymorphisms influence COVID-19 severity?
FcR are receptors expressed by innate immune cells. FcR recognize the Fc part of antibodies conjugated to viruses (immune complexes), and trigger mechanisms associated in viral clearance. FcR genotypic variant have previously been associated with susceptibility to/severity of viral infections including to H1N1, HIV-1 or SARS-CoV. In COVID-19+ patients, stimulation of FcR by immunes complexes may in some cases worsen disease outcomes by causing an overactive inflammatory response leading to lung injury and severe organ failure. In this project, we will investigate whether FcR variants impact on inflammation and COVID-19 disease severity.
Dubé Marie-Pierre
Genetic study of COVID-19
Our group at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) has been actively working on the genomics of COVID19 including both the human (host) and the SARS-CoV-2 viral genomic perspectives. With the aim of gaining a better understanding of COVID19, analyses conducted with the BQC19 data will be complemented by our ongoing research activities at MHI including data from the COLCORONA randomized clinical trial, the MHI Biobank, the UK Biobank and from publicly available SARS-CoV-2 genome data. We aim to study the genetic susceptibility to COVID19 infection and severity, and we will assess observed and genetically derived risk factors.
Upton Allen
Genetic markers of COVID-19 susceptibility
We seek to determine why some individuals have severe forms of COVID-19 illness while others get mild illness even when they have similar degrees of exposures to the virus and are otherwise healthy. The study involves centres in Canada with collaborations with in the USA and the Caribbean. We will sequence the genetic code of study participants, which includes both adults and children. This will enable us to determine if there are alterations in the individual's DNA that predispose to an increased likelihood of getting COVID-19 illness and why they might be more likely to have severe illness.
Hoepner Robert
Influence of an inflammatory messenger and Vitamin D deficiency on the risk of COVID-19 related death
In this project, we examine the relationship of the blood level of a specific inflammatory messenger, called Interleukine-17 or IL-17, and a potentially fatal outcome of COVID-19. We are interested in IL-17, since we observed in a recent study, that patients with blockers of IL-17 to treat certain autoimmune diseases had a reduced risk of dying due to COVID-19. In a second part, we examine whether a low Vitamin D level in the blood diminished the efficacy of the cortisone/dexamethasone treatment for severe COVID-19, which is based on experiences in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis relapses. Both have the potential to influence further COVID-19 treatments.
Musso Gabriel
Identifying causes of variability in COVID-19 patient outcome
Extreme heterogeneity of clinical outcome is a characteristic feature of SARS-Cov2 infection. A subgroup of COVID patients develop COVID19-related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), although risk factors are still not well understood. In previous work, we have built models to predict outcomes for COVID patients, including those with ARDS, with over 90% accuracy using clinical features alone. Here we seek to further validate and improve our predictive models using genomic features, and by doing so, identify novel biomarkers for ARDS that can guide treatment, and serve as companion diagnostics for a Canadian-developed therapeutic.
Pibarot Philippe
Circulating markers of risk stratification in patients with COVID-19
To ensure optimal therapeutic management of the large volume of patients with COVID-19 as well as optimal utilization of hospital resources, it is imperative to enhance risk stratification as early as possible in the course of the disease. We propose to analyze a panel of several blood biomarkers of inflammation, coagulation, and cardiovascular damage in: i) COVID-19 positive ambulatory subjects, ii) COVID-19 negative ambulatory subjects (control subjects), and iii) patients who have been hospitalized and have recovered from COVID-19. We believe that the analysis of these biomarkers will provide important incremental prognostic information beyond that obtained from demographic and clinical factors to predict the clinical evolution of the patients with COVID-19 infection or as well as the sequelae in patients who recovered from COVID-19.
Pinheiro Carvalho Livia
Personnalisation des Approches de Réadaptation post-COVID (PARCOVID): Évaluation de la qualité de vie et de la capacité physique suite à une infection par le virus de la COVID-19
La COVID-19 de longue durée se caractérise par des symptômes persistants qui affecte près de 30% des patients infectés. Ces symptômes persistants entraînent, entre autres, une réduction de la masse/force musculaire, de la capacité cardiorespiratoire, une fatigue exacerbée, des problèmes articulaires et une diminution de la qualité de vie. Afin de bien planifier les programmes de réadaptation de cette nouvelle clientèle, il est essentiel d’identifier dans quelle mesure la COVID-19 affecte la fonction et la qualité de vie et quel est le profil d’individus à plus grand risque d’incapacité physico-fonctionnelle.
Rahimi Samira
AiCoV19: AI-empowered Real-time COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring and Prediction among Long-Term Care Residents
The objective of this study is to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) to identify/detect COVID-19 among elderly. In this project, we will conduct a quantitative artificial intelligence study. We hypothesize that using this technology will provide an effective and efficient way for monitoring and early detection of COVID-19 among residents at long term care facilities during and beyond pandemic and may improve health outcomes of residents. Besides, this will lay the groundwork for future work on predicting COVID-19 symptoms.
Richards Brent
Biological factors that influence COVID-19 severe disease and post COVID-19 disease.
To generate treatments for severe COVID-19 disease and post COVID-19 disease, we must identify the biological pathways that influences these two outcomes. We will apply three different study methodologies: genetic association studies, observational association studies and Mendelian randomization. These will allow us to identify some of the biological determinants of severe COVID-19 disease and post COVID-19 disease. These biological determinants can then be considered for potential interventions through therapies, or lifestyle changes, in order to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with severe COVID-19 and post COVID-19 disease.
Taliun Daniel
A comprehensive catalog of genetic variations to support COVID-19 research in Quebec
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges to public health fueling many international efforts to find possible genetic contributors to its severity. As more genetic variations associated with COVID-19 are discovered worldwide, it is important to translate these findings into a form applicable to the populations with a unique genetic heritage in Quebec. We are building a catalog of genetic variations found in Quebec to help validating/replicating new discoveries, estimating the prevalence of risk/protective variations and population-specific genetic risks, and planning targeted mitigation strategies.
Tchernof Andre
Est-ce qu'un marqueur sanguin d'obésité abdominale pourrait aider à déterminer le risque de complications associé à la Covid-19?
Quelques études ont montré que l'obésité et la présence de diabète sont des prédicteurs significatifs de la trajectoire de soins chez les personnes atteintes du SARS-CoV-2. Nous postulons, que les biomarqueurs spécifiques de l'obésité viscérale représenteront des prédicteurs encore plus puissants des résultats indésirables de la maladie. Ces biomarqueurs seraient plus faciles à évaluer dans un milieu de soins intensifs.
Ball Blake
Cell-mediated immunity to COVID-19; assessing variability of infection and vaccine induced immunity
Population-level immunity to infection and vaccine effectiveness requires both antibody responses (mediated by B-cells) and cell-mediated immunity (CMI; mediated by T-cells). Throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, much attention has been paid to antibody responses, far less has been paid to CMI which may be critical for long-term protection. In this project, we are proposing to assess CMI by characterizing T and B cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals across the spectrum of COVID19 disease and following vaccination in order to understand the cellular correlates of durable long-lasting immunity.
Corbeil Jacques
Long COVID diagnosis
We aim to unravel the biological conditions leading to the occurrence of the post-COVID19 syndrome and uncover potential metabolomic biomarkers associated with its presence and severity and those that predict its persistence and development. We need to gain a better understanding of these aftereffects that affect a sizeable proportion of COVID19-infected individuals, primarily women. The effect of vaccination will also be investigated. We need to have an independent cohort for validation of our findings.
Decaluwe Helene
Réponse immunitaire suite à une infection par le SARS-CoV-2
Le coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 à l’origine de la maladie respiratoire aiguë parfois sévère COVID-19 s’est propagé dans le monde entier en 2019. Des études montrent que les personnes infectées développent une réponse immunitaire dans les premières semaines suivant l’infection mais la durée de cette protection contre la réinfection reste à préciser. Afin d’étudier la réponse immunitaire naturelle suite à une infection au Sars-CoV-2, nous nous proposons d’étudier la réponse immunitaire humorale et cellulaire chez des travailleurs de la santé convalescents et/ou vaccinés sur 24 mois et déterminer les corrélats de protection contre une réinfection.
Devaux Yvan
COVIRNA: A diagnostic test to improve surveillance and care of COVID-19 patients
The overall goal of the COVIRNA project is to generate a diagnostic test based on cardiovascular RNA biomarkers highly predictive of the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients and to enable its rapid market uptake with the aim to improve individualised surveillance, care and follow-up of these patients in the context of the current pandemic.
Labbé Simon
Détection rapide de COVID-19 directement d'écoulements nasaux
À ce moment, il y a urgence d'identifier les patients atteints de la COVID-19 afin de les placer en quarantaine et d'éteindre les foyers d'éclosion. Pour ce faire, de nombreux tests de dépistage et de confirmation sont demandés. Ceci est d’autant plus vrai avec le déconfinement. Parmi les problématiques actuelles, il y a le manque de fiabilité du contrôle interne de la validation des tests, un approvisionnement déficient en réactifs et l’absence de trousses complètes « one-step » d’identification des souches SARS-CoV-2 de type S, L, ou SpikeD614G. L’objectif principal du projet est de développer une trousse fourplex universelle.
Levesque Roger – Hancock Bob
Markers of sepsis and diagnosis in COVID patients
Many individuals die from severe Covid-19 sepsis. Sepsis is an abnormal host response to infection causing organ. Sepsis is a complex with phenotypic patient clusters, distinct endotypes relevant to clinical outcomes. We defined 5 endotypes and extend to Covid-19 patients. We will analyze genes expressed in blood cells to discriminate endotypes. We will define genes and expression correlating with disease severity. We will develop a diagnostic to predict the severity of a patient’s disease and apply knowledge-driven clinical management. Endotypes operate under distinct mechanisms and knowledge will enable the
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