Why do some healthy people become seriously ill with COVID?

Some people become very severely ill with COVID-19 and end up in hospital, but most people only experience mild illness. We know that a variety of factors play a part in how sick people become. But scientific research has shown that even when all these factors are taken into account, there is something else.

GenOMICC study on COVID-19

Genomics England is working in partnership with the GenOMICC consortium, led by the University of Edinburgh, to analyse the whole genome sequences of approximately 20,000 people who have been severely affected by COVID-19. By severely affected, we mean bad enough to require admission to intensive care. We need to compare these genomes with 15,000 other genomes, from people who were only mildly affected – not requiring hospitalisation – or had no symptoms at all.

How can I help?

You can sign up for the GenOMICC COVID-19 study and find out more information about what’s involved on our dedicated website:

 Help us solve the COVID-19 puzzle 

Thank you to everybody who has volunteered already to be part of the GenOMICC COVID-19 study. You do not need to complete the form again. We will be in touch as soon as possible to let you know if you are eligible and explain the next steps in detail.

We are very lucky that we already have more than 120,000 genomes thanks to those that took part in the 100,000 Genomes Project. These provide an incredibly important pre-COVID reference set. If you are a 100,000 Genomes Project participant and you have had severe COVID, you do not need to register here as we already have these details through your medical record. If you are a 100,000 Genomes Project participant, were tested positive and only had mild symptoms, please do register for the study.