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. 

Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Precautions on Classroom Communication for Adolescents with Hearing Loss: A Qualitative Study

Mark Felton, Principal Investigator

Public health measures such as mandatory masks and social distancing have become our new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures may present unique challenges to those who are hard-of-hearing, given that typical strategies that aid in communication, such as lip-reading and increasing proximity, are often no longer feasible. This study will assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures on communication in classroom settings for adolescents with profound sensorineural hearing loss and cochlear implants, conductive hearing loss secondary to mastoidectomy surgery, bone-anchored hearing aids, and those with normal hearing.

Contact: Julie Pauwels

BC COVID-19 Biobank Network

Darryl Knight, Principal Investigator

Biological specimens are critical for COVID-19 research. This initiative will establish a provincial biobank network and a catalogue of COVID-19 biospecimens. Samples will be available for use by researchers in order to pursue innovation and collaborative projects. The biospecimens (saliva, blood, plasma, etc.) will be collected from hospitalized and non-hospitalized COVID-19 diagnosed patients from across British Columbia, and a catalogue/inventory of biospecimens will enable linkages to genomic and clinical data. The team will develop a cost-effective and coordinated process of collecting, archiving and distributing of COVID-19 biological specimens for current and future research.

Contact: Tamsin Tarling

The Association of Kawasaki Disease and COVID-19 with Cardiac Complications: A Focused Sub-Study of the International Kawasaki Disease Registry

Kevin Harris, Principal Investigator

This research will seek to determine the spectrum of cardiac complications, associated factors and outcomes in patients with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19; determine the incidence and epidemiology of Kawasaki disease (KD), particularly those with missed or delayed diagnosis, and the spectrum of cardiac complications, associated factors and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic; and determine the prevalence and spectrum of cardiac complications in pediatric patients with documented or presumed infection with COVID-19, together with associated factors and outcomes.

Contact: Bianca Zaidel

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

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