The following research projects led by BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital researchers are focused on how the coronavirus spreads and the impact the virus has on certain groups.

Click on the study titles below for more information. 

Sepsis Project: Time-Series Analysis of Paediatric Sepsis at BC Children's Hospital in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Srinivas Murthy, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this retrospective observational cohort study is to determine whether there has been a change in the patterns of sepsis cases pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic. Provincial COVID-19 restrictions and alterations to social behaviours and hygiene practices may have contributed to a decrease in incidence of paediatric sepsis cases, and changes to the severity and source of infection.

The findings of this study may suggest that the hygiene practices and recommendations employed during the COVID-19 pandemic may be used as preventative measures for infection leading to sepsis.

Contact: Srinivas Murthy

CW COVID-19 Clinic: Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Patients Presenting at the COVID-19 Clinic

Ghada Al-Rawahi, Principal Investigator

This study will review the positivity rate based on age and sex distribution, and the rate in healthcare workers, among patients who attended the PHSA COVID-19 Collection Site at the Oak Street campus. We also aim to look at the correlation between Ct values and the date of onset of symptoms. In addition, we are hoping to review the success rate of gargle collection in children 5-17 years old.

Contact: Michelle Dittrick

Respiratory Cohort: CCDP Respiratory Post-COVID Cohort

Luis Nacul, Principal Investigator

Contact: Travis Boulter

CHILD COVID-19: Rapid Research in the CHILD Cohort to Inform Canada's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stuart Turvey, Principal Investigator

We will study the direct effects of coronavirus infection and the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the existing CHILD Cohort Study. CHILD involves 3500 families in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario who have been followed since before their children were born in 2008-2010. Most recently, children provided detailed health data and blood samples in 2018-2020 (just before the pandemic), providing a unique opportunity to study how children's pre-pandemic health and immune status influences the risk and outcome of coronavirus infection. We will now ask all CHILD family members to report COVID-19 symptoms using a text messaging system, and provide a few drops of blood for COVID-19 antibody testing using a simple at-home collection kit. Families will also complete surveys about their physical and mental health, behaviours and emotions during the pandemic.

This study will help us understand how Canadian families are being affected - both directly through infection and indirectly through pandemic management policies. Our research will provide important real-time data to Public Health authorities about coronavirus infection, symptoms, transmission and immunity in 12,000 Canadians in 4 provinces (CHILD children, siblings, parents) to inform Canada's COVID-19 response.

Contact: Linda Warner

Covid-19 Infections in Transplant Recipients: A Multicenter Registry

Hana Mitchell, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this multicenter study is to prospectively characterize COVID-19 infections over a 1- year period in Canadian adult and paediatric SOT recipients using a centralized registry system through the University Hospital Network, Toronto, Ontario. HYPOTHESIS: COVID-19 infection may have unique clinical presentation and long-term sequelae in solid organ transplant recipients JUSTIFICATION: To date there are only scant reports of COVID-19 impacting solid-organ transplant (SOT) recipients. Asa result of immunosuppression, an atypical clinical presentation is expected and has been described. Further data is needed to better define the impact of COVID-19 in immunosuppressed transplant recipients in order to guide prevention, screening, and management.

For more information: The Vaccine Evaluation Center

Contact: Mistin Wilkinson

CanCOVID-Preg: Canadian COVID-19 in Pregnancy Surveillance — Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes

Deborah Money, Principal Investigator

Globally, there are significantly limited data on SARS-CoV-2 to inform recommendations for pregnant women and their care providers. This multi-provincial observational project serves to better understanding of COVID-19 in pregnancy, to increase understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy, and to provide critical data to inform recommendations for pregnant women and their infants. A pan-provincial approach is in progress with provincial data collection to be combined for a national dataset of cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Objectives: 1. To determine the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy in Canada 2. To capture and report maternal outcomes, including degree of respiratory illness and requirement for hospitalization and/or ventilation support 3. To determine fetal and infant outcomes including evidence of transmission of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection to the infant 4. To provide data to facilitate planning and support for COVID-19 affected pregnancies in the Canadian context 5. To contribute data to international collaborations, allowing for optimized international understanding of COVID-19 in pregnancy

Contact: Nancy Lipsky

All-cause and cause-specific mortality and acute morbidity attributable to Covid-19 and medical history associated with severe Covid-19 infection in BC

Sarka Lisonkova, Principal Investigator

Prediction models about the future course of the epidemic rely mainly on the trends in numbers of Covid-19 positive individuals, hospitalizations, and deaths. These estimates may not be accurate, however, due to a limited availability of the Covid-19 testing and its potential inaccuracies. There is an urgent need to evaluate the overall impact of the pandemic regardless of the accuracy of available data. Our research will provide an insight into who is most impacted by the pandemic in BC, including the primary effects and the secondary effects not directly caused by the virus. In addition, we will investigate the association between past medical history and the severity of symptoms among Covid-19 positive individuals. Our results will help to plan the next steps in the preventive efforts.

Contact: Sarka Lisonkova

CIRN39: Sociocultural and behavioural factors affecting communities' response to countermeasures for COVID-19 epidemic — Identifying interventions to build trust

Julie Bettinger and Eve Dubé, Principal Investigators

'Fear might be a bigger threat than the virus.' As public health authorities increase efforts to address the new coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19), rumours, misinformation, and xenophobic online posts are spreading faster than the virus. Fear and misinformation have direct implication on the implementation of effective public health measures to control the epidemic.

With this research, we will examine the individual and sociocultural factors that impact individual's and communities' adoption of public health recommendations. This study will use qualitative and quantitative methods to describe online discourses related to COVID-19 in Canada (Tweets and comments on news media report) and to describe individual/ community understanding of disease, priorities, fears, etc. including public health messaging that may impact the acceptance of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will also identify interventions that will help build public trust in authorities responsible for disease spread and management, while dispelling unfounded rumours and xenophobic discourse.

For more information: The Vaccine Evaluation Center

Contact: Helen He