Ongoing clinical research projects at the LNS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic cover multiple aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This includes projects directly organized by the LNS, as well as national and international projects that LNS participates with its expertise in virology genomics and next-generation sequencing. In addition, thanks to our vast biobank, accessible clinical sampling center, and broad sequencing platform, the LNS has positioned itself in multiple exciting research projects to advance the publics knowledge on COVID-19.
Full title: COVID+ Vocal, Identification of COVID-19 based on voice signature : An Observational Cross-Sectional Study.
Contact point(s): Dr. Amy Parrish, Department of Microbiology, LNS
The sound of your cough, breathing and speech carries a vast array of information about your health. Respiratory illnesses can cause changes on these sounds and it has been demonstrated that COVID-19 is associated with specific sound changes. The aim of the COVID+ Voices project is to evaluate the performance (sensitivity and specificity) of a machine-learning algorithm to detect COVID-19 from cough, voice and breath recordings, by comparison to the results of the PCR test specific to the SARS-CoV-2. This project is in collaboration with LNS and the Luxembourgish based start-up VoiceMed. Active enrolment is ongoing at the Centre de Prelevement at LNS until February 2023.
Full title: COVID-19 Positive Luxembourg Study (COVID+): National Genomic Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2
Contact point(s): Dr. Tamir Abdelrahman, Department of Microbiology, LNS
COVID+ Genomics is a retrospective, non-interventional study that includes all positive SARS-CoV-2 samples in Luxembourg, which are referred to the National Reference Laboratory for acute infectious diseases at the Department of Microbiology at the LNS for viral genomic sequencing. In this project, we developed a whole-genome sequencing protocol for SARS-CoV-2 to draw a genomic map of Luxembourg. The results from this project will improve the understanding of the circulating variants and support clinical management of COVID-19 disease and vaccination programs. To date, the team has sequenced over 60 000 samples. Sequencing data is included in the weekly ReViLux publication of the department, and uploaded to GISAID. Sample collection is still ongoing.
Full title: Ending COVID-19 variants of concern through cohort studies: END-VOC
Contact point(s): Dr. Tamir Abdelrahman and Dr. Amy Parrish
Since the advent of the pandemic, there has been concern that viral evolution may lead to novel strains that either are more transmissible, cause severe disease than the ancestral lineage first identified in Wuhan, China, or evade public health interventions. The emergence of variants of concern (VOC) and variants of interest (VOI) due to mutations and deletions in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, from late 2020 means that this pathogen will likely remain a threat to global health security. The overall aim of the END-VOC consortium and the proposed programme of work is to support the European and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and VOCs by developing and pooling well-characterized COVID-19 cohorts with sufficient genomic information worldwide and linking these with existing European and international initiatives. The consortium consists of 19 partners in Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Be Ready Project
Full title: Building a European strategic REsearch and Innovation Area in Direct SYnergy with EU and International Initiatives for Pandemic Preparedness
Contact point(s): Dr. Tamir Abdelrahman and Natália Vieira
The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed and further highlighted the importance of planning and investing in research and innovation well before a health crisis occurs. For this purpose, the main goal of BE READY is to build a consolidated European Research and Innovation Area that provides the foundation of the candidate European partnership for pandemic preparedness so to improve the EU's preparedness to predict and respond to emerging health threats by better coordinating funding for research and innovation at EU, national (and regional) level towards common objectives and an agreed Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda. The Partnership is expected to build on existing pandemic preparedness networks, and work in synergy with the Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA), in close collaboration with ECDC, EMA and other relevant international and European actors. BE READY is composed by 24 organisations from 15 countries with complementary expertise and policy area ranging from Public Health Organisations, Ministries (of Science, University, Health, Innovation or Environment) and Research Performing Organisations that ensures a cross-cutting, interdisciplinary Global Health and One Health approach.