REACT-GE is looking for biological ‘signatures’, such as molecules in the blood or variations in people’s genes, that could help explain why some infected individuals experience serious illness while others don’t. 

This research has been expanded to look for biological factors that could be linked with developing Long COVID. 8,000 people – half of whom report long-term symptoms following COVID – will have their DNA code read, alongside a variety of other tests looking at the brain and immune system. The researchers will then use statistical analysis and machine learning to find markers that give people a higher risk of Long COVID, which could highlight new treatment and diagnostic avenues. 

REACT GE is a partnership between Imperial, Genomics England and Edinburgh University.