Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has played a key role in two recent medical research projects which have recently published important findings in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.

The trust’s research and innovation team based at Stepping Hill Hospital, together with other staff and patients in both the hospital and community, have contributed toward both the GenOMICC study into the relationship between human genes and COVID-19, and the SIREN study aiming at greater understanding of how far individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from future infections.

Patients seriously ill with coronavirus in the hospital’s ICU took part in the GenOMICC study (‘Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care’), a national research project led by a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Genomics England. The study tested how patients’ genetic makeup could influence how they react to the virus, which will help support the vital search for new treatments.

The GenOMICC study has now successfully identified five genes within DNA that were markedly different between ICU patients and volunteers who did not have COVID-19. This discovery will help to identify those most at risk, and may assist in fast-tracking new therapies into clinical trials to improve recoveries and help patients survive.

The SIREN study, led by Public Health England, aimed to study and understand whether prior infection with SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) protects against future infection with the same virus. Over 100 staff members from Stockport NHS Foundation Trust came forward to assist with this.

The newly published SIREN study found those infected are likely to be protected against reinfection for several months, but could still carry the virus in their nose and throat and transmit it to others. The study shows a person being infected accounts for an 83% rate of protection against being re-infected themselves, but not against passing on to others.

These continuing studies confirm Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s key role in research on fighting coronavirus, as well as a centre for vaccination against the virus.

Wiesia Woodyatt, Research and Innovation Manager for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said “The importance of research remains central to the fight against coronavirus. While vaccines have now been developed, COVID-19 clearly remains a major threat, and there are further steps we can take in both preventing the spread of the infection and treating those who are most severely affected by it. We are proud of the role both our patients and staff have contributed to these studies which have taken important steps forward in these areas.”


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