Diagnosis and Management of Febrile Illness using RNA Personalised Molecular Signature Diagnosis
Funder: European Commission
Sponsor: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
CI: Prof Michael Levin
Approval Date: 02 April 2020
The DIAMONDS consortium includes centres in 11 EU countries, and is funded by a Horizon2020 European Union grant. As part of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the DIAMONDS consortium is carrying out a nationally prioritised project with Urgent Public Health research status, that addresses COVID-19, through re-purposing of its clinical study (DIAMONDS-Search) during the period of the pandemic. DIAMONDS Search will tackle the urgent global need for improved diagnostics to guide clinical management of patients with confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, though the development of novel host RNA-based diagnostic devices that can diagnose COVID-19 and comparator illnesses simultaneously at the point of testing, through measurement of host gene expression in blood. The aims of the project are to identify host-based gene expression signatures that can discriminate pure SARS-CoV-2 disease from that caused by co-infections, for instance with bacteria, or by other infections. DIAMONDS will also elucidate host gene expression signatures associated with different manifestations of COVID-19, including mild and severe disease, inflammatory disease and uncontrolled viral disease. DIAMONDS is recruiting patients of all ages in the UK, and at partner sites in Europe. This includes rapid recruitment of children and adults with suspected and proven COVID-19, across the full spectrum of disease including mild (not admitted), moderate (not ITU) and severe (ITU) patients. Recruitment is carried out using streamlined consent and sampling processes, and an abbreviated CRF, focusing on obtaining research samples at the point of presentation to healthcare. Results from the DIAMONDS Search clinical study will be used by DIAMONDS consortium biotechnology partners to develop devices to detect the diagnostic RNA signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and signatures predictive of severe disease.
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