A quarter of UK Covid-19 patients enrolled in major Imperial study

More than 66,000 patients with COVID-19 have been enrolled so far in a UK-wide study to learn more about the disease.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who is an honorary physician at the Trust and from Imperial College London’s National Heart and Lung Institute, is one of three researchers leading Europe’s largest study analysing samples from COVID-19 patients to learn more about the disease and how it progresses. He was speaking at a recent Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) seminar, which took place earlier this month.

The talk can be watched in the video below.


Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Liverpool and Imperial are co-ordinating the collection of clinical data and biological samples from COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the UK including St Mary’s and Charing Cross Hospitals, which are part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. This UK-wide network is called the International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium (ISARIC4C).

The ISARIC4C study, the largest of its type anywhere in the world, involves a national consortium of researchers that will gather data from more than 66,000 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 166 hospitals throughout the UK.

Professor Openshaw explained that analysis of data from ISARIC4C has already greatly enhanced understanding of the disease. While the commonly known features of COVID-19 include fever, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to smell or taste, the team has also identified other common symptoms experienced by COVID-19 patients such as diarrhoea, vomiting and joint pain.

The team hopes to uncover more about who is at higher risk of severe illness and why, what is the best way to diagnose the disease, what effects treatments have and what role the immune system has in protection and, potentially, in causing harm.