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King’s researchers and clinicians are currently working around the clock to increase our understanding of all aspects of the virus – from preventative methods, to developing new ways to quickly produce lifesaving ventilators, and discovering new treatments to save lives around the world.
A team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, Professor Adrian Hayday, Professor Jonathan Edgeworth and Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, are currently exploring the immune response to COVID-19 to help identify and treat patients likely to develop a more serious response:
To manage the current epidemic effectively, doctors need to be able to identify patients who are most likely in need of intensive care. COVID-IP is a fast-response study of immune responses in COVID-19 patients admitted at St Thomas’ Hospital. Despite treatment, a significant proportion may deteriorate within about a week, requiring breathing-support on the ICU. Although age and underlying conditions are risk factors, they are not reliable predictors.
We believe that discriminating signatures may exist in patients’ immune systems, causing a tissue-damaging “cytokine storm”, an overreaction of the body’s immune system that can lead to fatal inflammation. By identifying these signatures, we learn more about the disease and can focus energies and resources on those in most acute need.
COVID-IP will build on existing, internationally-recognised expertise to monitor patients’ immune responses throughout their first few days in hospital, allowing us to act fast and create immediate impact.
By donating today, your support will increase the number of patients we can test and identify those at risk more quickly.
‘I am completely inspired by the selfless and immediate responses of young researchers who have put their own projects to one side and applied themselves to investigating Covid-19. They deserve our support and recognition’
Professor Adrian Hayday, Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology, King’s College London
Photo image credit to: the Francis Crick Institute/Janie Airey.