COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic and this in turn has accelerated the formation of international collaborations more than ever, although they are already common in biomedical research. The COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative was formed to share knowledge and data to study the role of genetic factors in susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV-2 and severity of the disease. The GCAT-Genomes for Life Project at the IGTP is taking part. The methodology has been described in a paper in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
At the IGTP TODAY
A group of researchers affiliated to the IGTP have coordinated the implementation of the EMIS-2017 studies for Spain. More than 10,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) participated in the EMIS-2017 Study in Spain through an online questionnaire, which collected information about knowledge, behaviours and the collective needs of gay me, bisexuals and other MSM, both in general and in subgroups with greater vulnerability in terms of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The impact of COVID-19 will be explored through an epidemiological study on 24,000 Catalan volunteers
Researchers at the IGTP and ISGlobal, a centre supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation have started the COVICAT study to evaluate the impact of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its consequences for the population. The study will follow up on 24,000 volunteers for 12 months. The volunteers are participants in existing cohorts and epidemiological studies in Catalonia, this means there is already associated genetic, environmental, health and lifestyle information on them from prior to the pandemic.
The study focusses on understanding the mechanisms that keep the infection latent without the infected person developing the disease. 90% of people infected never develop the active disease, understanding this mechanism so that we can identify them is key to eradicating tuberculosis. The research has been carried out in virtual lungs, developed by computational modelling techniques. These are the first results to be published by the 3Rs Programme at the Centre for Comparative Medicine and Bioimage (CMCiB) which aims to minimize the use of animals in pre-clinical research.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a role in the pathogenesis of malaria vivax, according to a study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by "la Caixa", and the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP). The study was carried out at the Can Ruti Campus with the participation of the Genomics Facility of the IGTP, the Nephrology Service of the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital and researchers from the AIDS Research Institute, IrsiCaixa. The findings, published in Nature Communications, indicate that EVs from P. vivax patients communicate with spleen fibroblasts promoting the adhesion of parasite-infected red blood cells. These data provide important insights into the pathology of vivax malaria.
Researchers from the Innovation in Respiratory Infections and Tuberculosis Diagnosis Group at the IGTP have successfully used their Russian doll nanoparticle technology for antibiotic delivery against a second micro-organism. This study demonstrates that the use of nanoparticles is a potentially powerful weapon against a variety of diseases caused by infectious bacteria.
In the latest installment of their work to reduce hepatitis C virus in Catalonia, and as part of the worldwide campaign to end viral hepatitis, Members of the Clinical Virology and New Diagnostic Tools Group at the IGTP have found that two diagnostic tests that can be carried out at the point of care are simple and effective methods for testing people who inject drugs, a group particlarly vulnerable to hepatitis C.
The Catalan Alliance for Insitutes for Research and Innovation in Health (IRISCAT) has launched its first science communications activity in a series of webinars to share different topics of biomedical research into COVID-19.
Spain currently has 124,300 active cases of COVID-19 according to the mathematical model developed by the UPC and IGTP
Madrid, Catalonia, Castile and León and Castile la Mancha are the autonomous regions with the highest accumulated numbers of active cases, in contrast, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Murcia and Asturias have the lowest numbers of active cases. The data forms part of the study of the evolution of the pandemic based on mathematical models being carried out by the multi-disciplinary team of researchers of the UPC and IGTP.