HICC: Humoral Immune Correlates for COVID19: Defining protective Ab responses and critical readouts for Clinical Trials of Vaccines and Therapeutics

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Helen Baxendale

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
Royal Papworth NHS Foundation Trust

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, COVID


SARS-CoV-2 is an emerging virus with very high infectivity and risk of death in those with severe respiratory symptoms. To maximise our success in protecting people against this disease, we urgently need to understand and develop highly accurate tests to identify when a person has developed a protective immune response versus a COVID-19 disease response.

We do not understand the antibody response differences between individuals who have mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and high risk patients that progress to life threatening disease. Understanding specific differences will help us develop tests to diagnose the likelihood of severe disease, and vaccines to prevent them.

We will use cutting edge, high throughput technologies to identify in detail the functional role of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in immune protection, their association with disease severity and the duration of immunity after infection.

Importantly, we will turn this information into tests which will be used to:

1. Identify when NHS-staff have evidence of protective antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2

2. This is urgently needed to manage NHS staff returns, guide public health and government policy.

3. Provide clinical tests to assist the development and evaluation of safe vaccines and therapies for the treatment of the sickest patients.