PROJECTS

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Funded by the European Union

Funded by the European Union´s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement N. 101046016

Coordinated by Euresist Network, 25 primary universities, hospitals and ICT research centres are collaborating to provide robust, data driven evidence to deal with SARS-CoV-2 variants and COVID-19 epidemics. 

How do SARS-COV-2 variants, coupled with other factors, influence the clinical course of COVID-19? Is there any vaccine or test escape related to variants? Do variants influence, and how, the spread in the school setting? Can we define a better testing and containment strategy  in the school setting? What is the impact of containment measures, including schools closure, on pupils and teachers?

With the support of strong immuno-virological and artificial intelligence components, the study will take advantage of large hospital patients, vaccinated healthcare workers and schools’ cohorts in Europe, Kenya, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam to find an answer to urgent issues related to science and society.

Objectives

 

  1. to study viral variants in relation to their capacity to escape control by available vaccines; 1.    

  2. to study viral variants in relation to their capacity to escape diagnosis by available tests; 

  3. to study the host immune response to different variants, in terms of both antibody and cellular immunity; and to evaluate possible cross-immunisation with other coronaviruses;

  4. to assess the role of the different viral variants in response to treatment interventions and in disease progression, including long-term outcome, and to identify predictors of patients at higher risk.

  5. to determine the prevalence of viral variants, their attack rates and clusters in schools compared with the general population; 

  6. to compare the efficacy of different screening methods and of different preventive measures in schools with respect to new viral variants; in particular, an emerging pooled saliva screening method will be evaluated;

  7. to evaluate the psychological and learning-loss effect of the school closure during the pandemic.

Methodology

EuCARE gathers clinical cohorts from 11 strategic countries across Europe, Russia, Africa, Asia and central America. Overall, the hospitals estimate to be able to enrol in the prospective cohort study >2600 patients and >1600 HCW from very diverse countries, with wide coverage of different vaccines, different health care systems, different viral variants distributions and different treatment protocols.

Cohorts following-up patients with symptoms attributable to PASC will be involved from Europe, Georgia, UK and Russia with an estimated enrolment of > 1400 patients.

For its focus on schools, EuCARE builds on the ongoing school screening programme in Germany and in Mexico, adding to these newly enrolled school in Portugal and Italy, spanning all school grades. Overall, at least 35 schools and 40 kindergartens are involved for more than 26.000 students across all ages, from very diverse areas in terms of urbanisation, socioeconomic status, containment protocols and use of  PPEs.

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Participants

  1. EuResist Network GEIE (Coordinator) - IT

  2. Klinikum der Universität   zu Koeln (DE)

  3. University College London (UK)

  4. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (DE)

  5. Universita degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata (IT)

  6. Karolinska Institutet (SE)

  7. Università degli studi di Siena (IT)

  8. IBM Israel - Science and Technology ltd (IL)

  9. Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale Santi Paolo e Carlo (IT)

  10. Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani (IT)

  11. Viesoji Istaiga Vilniaus Universiteto Ligonine Santaros Klinikos (LT)

  12. Istituto Europeo Di Oncologia Srl (IT)

  13. Universidade Nova De Lisboa (PT)

  14. Imperial College Of Science Technology And Medicine (UK)

  15. Infectious Diseases, Aids And Clinical Immunology Research Center (GEORGIA)

  16. Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (DE)

  17. Centro Hospitalar De Lisboa Ocidental (PT)

  18. Organizing Bureau of European School  Student Unions (BE)

  19. Università del Salento (IT)

  20. Pomeranian Medical University of Szczecin (PL)

  • KEMRI Alupe Hospital (Kenya)

  • WFO Neema Hospital (Kenya)

  • Bach Mai Hospital Hanoi (Vietnam)

  • Juan Graham Casasus Regional Hospital (Mexico)

  • I-PRO (Italy)

  • Università degli studi Roma tre (Italy)

  • EUI European University Institute

  • Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)

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Work Packages Structure

WP1 data and cohorts infrastructure of the project, including the legal, ethical and IT frameworks

WP2 on wet-lab activities as a service for the cohort WPs and to virological and immunological studies

WP3 runs the cohort study on patients, including long COVID patients, and Health Care Workers

WP4 runs the other cohort study on schools and kindergartens 

WP5 applies artificial intelligence techniques on the data produced by previous WPs.

WP6 implements consortium level dissemination and communication activities and networking for long-term sustainability of the project’s cohorts and network 

WP7 is for the management, project evaluation and quality assurance activities.

WP8 ensures compliance with ethics requirements set by the ethics project review.

The EuCARE Kick-off meeting has been held in Rome on November 11th and 12th and has seen the participation of representatives of WHO.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme

Publications

A.Cozzi-Lepri A, Smith C, Mussini C. Signals were broadly positive for months, but never definitive: the tocilizumab story. Clin Microbiol Infect.  2022 Mar;28(3):371-374. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2021.10.018. Epub 2021 Nov 9. PMID: 34768021; PMCID: PMC8576060. 

 

Alkhatib M, Bellocchi MC, Marchegiani G, Grelli S, Micheli V, Stella D, Zerillo B, Carioti L, Svicher V, Rogliani P, Ceccherini-Silberstein F.  First Case of a COVID-19 Patient Infected by Delta AY.4 with a Rare Deletion Leading to a N Gene Target Failure by a Specific Real Time PCR Assay: Novel Omicron VOC Might Be Doing Similar Scenario?  Microorganisms 2022 Jan 25;10(2):268. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10020268. PMID: 35208724; PMCID: PMC8875198.

 

Alkhatib M, Carioti L, D'Anna S, Ceccherini-Silberstein F, Svicher V, Salpini R. SARS-CoV-2 Mutations and Variants May Muddle the Sensitivity of COVID-19 Diagnostic Assays.  Microorganisms 2022 Aug 2;10(8):1559. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10081559. PMID: 36013977; PMCID: PMC9414863.

 

Alkhatib M, Salpini R, Carioti L, Ambrosio FA, D'Anna S, Duca L, Costa G, Bellocchi MC, Piermatteo L, Artese A, Santoro MM, Alcaro S, Svicher V, Ceccherini-Silberstein F.  Update on SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant of Concern and Its Peculiar Mutational Profile.                Microbiol Spectr.  2022 Apr 27;10(2):e0273221. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02732-21. Epub 2022 Mar 30. PMID: 35352942; PMCID: PMC9045195.

 

Antinori A, Cicalini S, Meschi S, Bordoni V, Lorenzini P, Vergori A, Lanini S, De Pascale L, Matusali G, Mariotti D, Cozzi Lepri A, Gallì P, Pinnetti C, Gagliardini R, Mazzotta V, Mastrorosa I, Grisetti S, Colavita F, Cimini E, Grilli E, Bellagamba R, Lapa D, Sacchi A, Marani A, Cerini C, Candela C, Fusto M, Puro V, Castilletti C, Agrati C, Girardi E, Vaia F; HIV-VAC Study Group.  Humoral and cellular immune response elicited by mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in people living with HIV (PLWH) receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) according with current CD4 T-lymphocyte count. Clin Infect Dis.  2022 Apr 2:ciac238. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac238. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35366316; PMCID: PMC9047161.

 

Caini, S.; Martinoli, C.; La Vecchia, C.; Raimondi, S.; Bellerba, F.; D’Ecclesiis, O.; Sasso, C.; Basso, A.; Cammarata, G.; Gandini, S.  SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the school setting: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health  2022, 19, 5384. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095384.

 

d’Arminio Monforte, A.; Tavelli, A.; De Benedittis, S.; Bai, F.; Tincati, C.; Gazzola, L.; Viganò, O.; Allegrini, M.; Mondatore, D.; Tesoro, D.; et al. RealWorld Estimate of Vaccination Protection in Individuals Hospitalized for COVID-19. Vaccines 2022, 10, 550. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10040550.

 

F. Dragoni, Schiaroli E, Micheli V, Fiaschi L, Lai A, Zehender G, Rossetti B, Gismondo MR, Francisci D, Zazzi M, Vicenti I.  Impact of SARS-CoV-2 omicron BA.1 and delta AY.4.2 variants on the neutralization by sera of patients treated with different authorized monoclonal antibodies.  Clin Microbiol Infect.     2022 Jul;28(7):1037-1039. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2022.03.005. Epub 2022 Mar 15. PMID: 35304279; PMCID: PMC8923034.

 

F.Drobniewski F, Kusuma D, Broda A, Castro-Sánchez E, Ahmad R. COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Diverse Groups in the UK-Is the Driver Economic or Cultural in Student Populations.  Vaccines (Basel).  2022 Mar 24;10(4):501. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10040501. PMID: 35455250; PMCID: PMC9025452.

 

Fiaschi, L.; Dragoni, F.; Schiaroli, E.; Bergna, A.; Rossetti, B.; Giammarino, F.; Biba, C.; Gidari, A.; Lai, A.; Nencioni, C.; et al. Efficacy of Licensed Monoclonal Antibodies and Antiviral Agents against the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Sublineages BA.1 and BA.2. Viruses 2022, 14, 1374. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071374.

 

I.Vicenti, Basso M, Dragoni F, Gatti F, Scaggiante R, Fiaschi L, Parisi SG, Zazzi M.  Comparable Post-Vaccination Decay of Neutralizing Antibody Response to Wild-Type and Delta SARS-CoV-2 Variant in Healthcare Workers Recovered from Mild or Asymptomatic Infection.      Vaccines  2022 Apr 9;10(4):580. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10040580. PMID: 35455329; PMCID: PMC9025891.

 

Meschiari M, Cozzi-Lepri A, Tonelli R, Bacca E, Menozzi M, Franceschini E, Cuomo G, Bedini A, Volpi S, Milic J, Brugioni L, Romagnoli E, Pietrangelo A, Corradini E, Coloretti I, Biagioni E, Busani S, Girardis M, Cossarizza A, Clini E, Guaraldi G, Mussini C; Modena COVID-19 Working Group (MoCo19).  First and second waves among hospitalised patients with COVID-19 with severe pneumonia: a comparison of 28-day mortality over the 1-year pandemic in a tertiary university hospital in Italy.  BMJ Open. 2022 Jan 3;12(1):e054069. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054069. PMID: 34980623; PMCID: PMC8724593.

 

Miranda MNS, Pingarilho M, Pimentel V, Torneri A, Seabra SG, Libin PJK and Abecasis AB A Tale of Three Recent Pandemics: Influenza, HIV and SARS-CoV-2.  Front. Microbiol. 2022, 13:889643. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.889643.

 

Raimondi, S.; Cammarata, G.; Testa, G.; Bellerba, F.; Galli, F.; Gnagnarella, P.; Iannuzzo, M.L.; Ricci, D.; Sartorio, A.; Sasso, C.; et al. The Impact of Sport Activity Shut down during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Was It Worthwhile?  Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 7908. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137908.