COVID-LIV Virology Study

We are working to understand how the virus spreads between people, and how it affects their lives.

Aims of the Research

There are several aims to the research. The primary aims are to:

  1. Measure the occurrence and rate of spread in households.
  2. Understand how and why the infection is spread in the household.
  3. Measure the proportion of infections that are mild or unnoticed and how much they contribute to transmission.
  4. Measure how immunity develops and how this links with severity of disease.

What will be done?

We will invite households to participate in the study. These households will have participated in research work undertaken by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care and given consent to future contact. After informed consent:

  1. Each member of the household (including adults and children) will have a sample from their nose taken weekly and the throat at the first visit to look for evidence of COVID-19 infection and more frequently if ill.
  2. Blood samples will be taken at the beginning of the study and after 12 weeks to look for changes in the immune response.
  3. At the end of the 12-week period we will intend to follow-up the participants further. The detail of the follow-up will be determined by the findings from the first 12 weeks. For instance, if there have been only a few infections we would hope to continue follow-up, whereas if there are many infections we may adjust our sampling to look for re-infections.

Although taking part in the survey study is not a requirement for participation in this virology study, we would prefer if you considered taking part in the survey study as well.

What will be the benefits of this work?

The results are critical to understanding the spread of COVID-19 transmission. They will lead to immediate interventions around isolation, in particular how this may be modified in coming months whilst maintaining individual protection. By understanding household infection spread, the design of behavioural interventions to minimise spread will be improved. In addition, these data will help to improve the mathematical models that have been used from the start of the pandemic to inform government response. Understanding the immune response will provide vital information to inform diagnosis but also vaccine design and understand where treatments may be used to reduce the severity of this infection.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

This application has been reviewed by our PPI group and two members of the group have been invited to be on the study steering committee. The study design, participant acceptability and perceptions have been reviewed and discussed.

How do I take part in this study?

If you are interested in participating in the study please via email or telephone +44 (0)7717484431


Participant Information Sheets:

Adults & Parents

Children & Adolescents


Our Funders

Back to: Institute of Infection and Global Health