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COVID-19 activity

Our COVID-19 research

Our COVID-19 research

Immuno-phenotyping of patient samples following COVID-19 infection allows researchers to understand the immune response to the disease and predict disease severity.

The LBIII has formed an Coronavirus Immune Response and Clinical Outcomes (CIRCO) team with all major hospitals in Manchester (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, and North Manchester General Hospital). We are working together to longitudinally immuno-phenotype patient samples to understand the nature of the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The data from this study has already provided insights to the immunological phenotypes associated with disease severity.

View the article (pdf on BioRxiv)

In some patients the immune system over-reacts to the virus, inducing a cytokine storm resulting in ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and the cause of most critical care admissions. Immuno-phenotyping will enable us to identify early markers in patients who are likely to be admitted to intensive care, allowing earlier intervention.

We are also beginning to investigate the potential longer-term effects of the virus on the lung and other organs in the body such as the gut and kidney.

UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC)

The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation is leading one of the themes in the UK wide consortium of 19 immunology research centres investigating the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and our ability to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Visit the UK-CIC website

More on our blog

Read our blog for further updates and insight on our work on COVID-19.

Expert coverage and commentary

Our academics provide insight across a range of media and engagement opportunities. We have highlighted recent contributions related to COVID-19 by our academics.

Thomas Blanchard

Title: Significant outbreak likely
Outlet: BBC Radio Manchester
Date: 3 March 2020

 

Title: Response to coronavirusOutlet: BBC Radio 5 live
Date: 9 March 2020

 

Title: The role of the immune system in fighting COVID-19, and the importance of harnessing it’s mechanisms to help treat the disease
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 11 May 2020

 

Title: COVID-19
Outlet: BBC Radio Manchester
Date: 21 July 2020

Sheena Cruickshank

Title: How to boost your immune system to avoid colds and coronavirus
Outlet: The Guardian
Date: 8 March 2020

 

Title: Monkeys Develop Protective Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2
Outlet: The Scientist
Date: 17 March 2020

 

Title: How to boost your immune system to avoid colds and coronavirus
Outlet: The Sun
Date: 25 March 2020

 

Title: Partly false claim: A list of eight coronavirus-related “facts”
Outlet: Reuters
Date: 26 March 2020

 

Title: Ways people can ensure their immune systems are in the best possible shape to fight off infections such as coronavirus
Outlet: Outside online
Date: 27 March 2020

 

Title: Q&A: How do vaccines work?
Outlet: The Times and The Sunday Times
Date: 10 April 2020

 

Title: Can we learn anything from the plague village of Eyam which we could apply to the coronavirus pandemic
Outlet: BBC News
Date: 22 April 2020

 

Title: Immunology in a pandemic
Outlet: Facebook Live
Date: 29 April 2020

 

Title: The role of the immune system in fighting COVID-19, and the importance of harnessing it’s mechanisms to help treat the disease
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 11 May 2020

 

Title: Prof Cruickshank talks antibody testing would be best used alongside track and trace
Outlet: LBC Radio
Date: 21 May 2020

 

Title: Coronavirus: how T cells are involved and what it might mean for vaccine development
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 11 June 2020

 

Title: Can our immune system 'remember' the coronavirus? Scientists hope so
Outlet: NBC News
Date: 2 July 2020

 

Title: One vaccines to beat COVID-19, Sars?
Outlet: Conversation
Date: 10 July 2020

 

Title: COVID-19
Outlet: Conversation Indonesia
Date: 20 July 2020



Title: The fact that antibody levels are falling doesn’t mean we haven’t got a memory response
Outlet: The Scientist
Date: 24 July 2020


Title: How long immunity to diseases lasts
Outlet: BBC World
Date: 7 August 2020


Title: What the coronavirus can teach us about fighting climate change
Outlet: Washington Post
21 August 2020

Title: Inflammation: the key factor that explains vulnerability to severe COVID
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 21 August 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 vaccine possibilities
Outlet: Partly Political Podcast
Date: 23 September 2020

 

Title: Comment - what is a persistent cough
Outlet: The Guardian
Date: 21 September 2020

 

Title: Comment on The arrival of Sputnik V a COVID-19 vaccine
Outlet: The Lancet
Date: 14 October 2020

 

Title: Coronavirus reinfection cases: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 15 October

 

Title: What we know so far about the coronavirus reinfection
Outlet: Independent
Date: 27 October 2020

 

Title: A new study suggests coronavirus antibodies fade over time – but how concerned should we be?
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 27 October 2020

 

Title: Comment on Boris Johnson's self isolation and COVID quarantine rules.
Outlet: The i
Date: 17 November 2020

Dan Davis

Title: Q&A on COVID-19, answering questions from the public (featuring five experts)
Outlet: The Cosmic Shambles
Date: 5 April 2020

 

Title: Are you immune if you have had coronavirus?
Outlet: Channel 4
Date: 7 April 2020

 

Title: What causes a fever, and how the body uses the rise in temperature to fight infection?
Outlet: New Scientist
Date: 8 April 2020

 

Title: Immunology in a pandemic
Outlet: Facebook Live
Date: 29 April 2020

 

Title: Drug firms are racing to calm the cytokine storm
Outlet: The Times
Date: 15 May 2020

 

Title: Immunology and COVID-19
Outlet: Hay Festival
Date: 26 May 2020

 

Title: Coronavirus: how T cells are involved and what it might mean for vaccine development
Outlet: The Conversation
Date: 11 June 2020

 

Title: Lockdown Lecture: Dan Davis
Outlet: University of Manchester Lockdown Lecture
Date: 15 June 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 Antibodies
Outlet: Newsweak Women's Health
Date: 18 June 2020

 

Title: Sleep and the immune response
Outlet: MSN News
Date: 18 June 2020

 

Title: Dexamethasone: the coronavirus drug 91 years in the making
Outlet: The Times
Date: 21 June 202

 

Title: COVID-19 Vaccines
Outlet: The Times
Date: 16 July 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 Vaccine
Outlet: Channel 5 News
Date: 16 July 2020

 

Title: Coronavirus drug: how interferon can be traced back to a meeting of minds in 1956
Outlet: The Times
Date: 21 July 2020

 

Title: Commenting on a study which found asymptomatic COVID-19 patients have similar levels of the virus as other patients. Prof Davis said it was consistent with the idea asymptomatic people can spread the disease, and the implications of this for track and trace systems.
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 6 August 2020

 

Title: Nevada Man Becomes First Person in U.S. To Catch Coronavirus Twice, Scientists Say
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 20 August 2020

 

Overview: Commenting on the accuracy of COVID-19 tests
Outlet: The Times
Date: 3 September 2020

 

Title: Russia Publishes First Evidence Coronavirus Vaccine Works, Weeks After Approving Sputnik V
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 4 September 2020

 

Title: China Claims Its Coronavirus Vaccine Can Protect Against All Known Mutations
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 5 September 2020

 

Title: Chinese COVID-19 vaccine
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 9 September 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 Experts Q&A Vol.III
Outlet: The Cosmic Shambles
Date:23 September 2020

 

Title: One way of helping boost your immune system
Outlet: MSN
Date:25 September 2020

 

Title: Prof Dan Davis says the next few days will be “crucial” in determining whether Donald Trump
Outlet: Newsweek
Date: 2 October 2020

 

Title: Comment on the cocktail of drugs and vitamins reportedly being taken by Donald Trump following his COVID-19 infection
Outlet: Newsweek
Date:6 October 2020

 

Title: Prof Dan Davis lays out his prediction of how we will learn to live with COVID-19.
Outlet:  The Times
Date: 24 October 2020

 

Title: Comment on COVID-19 re-infection cases
Outlet:  Newsweek
Date: 29 October 2020

 

 

Title: Comment on Pfizer COVID-19
Outlet:  Wired
Date: 9 November 2020

 

Title: Comment on the recent news that a COVID-19 vaccine has been found to be 90% effective, as well as the ways in which the pandemic has affected scientific research.
Outlet: The Times
Date: 10 November 2020

 

Title: Comment on development of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is “a watershed moment”, though he cautions that data on safety and length of immunity still needs to be examined
Outlet: The Express
Date: 12 November 2020

Tim Felton

Overview: Tim, our Clinical Lead for all Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust COVID19-related research studies, spoke about the coronavirus clinical trials taking place at our Trust.
Outlet: BBC Northwest
Date: 22 April 2020

 

Tracy Hussell

Overview: Talking about the best ways to beat COVID-19
Outlet: Channel 4 News and Sky News
Date: 31 March 2020

 

Title: Top scientists racing to pinpoint who will be hit hardest by coronavirus
Outlet: Manchester Evening News (MEN)
Date: 05 April 2020

 

Title:  Talking about individual reactions to COVID-19
Outlet: LBC Radio
Date: 7 April 2020

 

Title: Immunology in a pandemic
Outlet: Facebook Live
Date: 29 April 2020

 

Title: Why are T cells important in the immuen reponse to COVID-19? 
Outlet: BBC Radio Manchester
Date: 3 August 2020

 

Title: People who had been exposed to COVID-19 were vulnerable to both reinfection
Outlet: BBC Radio Manchester
Date: 17 August 2020

 

Title: Three UK-wide studies investigating Covid-19's interaction with the immune system launched
Outlet: ITV News
Date: 28 August 2020

 

Title: New studies aim to answer key questions about immunity and Covid-19
Outlet: The Mail
Date: 28 August 2020

 

Title: New studies aim to answer key questions about immunity and Covid-19
Outlet: The Belfast Telegraph
Date: 28 August 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 and damage to bone marrow immune cells
Outlet: The Daily Mail
Date: 21 September 2020

 

Title: Comment - COVID-19 and damage to bone marrow immune
Oulet: USA news

Date:  21 September 2020

 

Title: Comment - COVID-19 and damage to bone marrow immune
Outlet: Yahoo
Date: 21 September 2020

 

Title: COVID-19 may damage bone marrow immune cells
Outlet: This is money
Date: 21 September 2020

 

Title: Simple blood test could predict which Covid patients are likely to end up in intensive care
Outlet: MEN
Date: 23 September 20202

 

Title: Long COVID
Outlet: BBC R4
Date: 29 September 2020

 

Title: Comment on The arrival of Sputnik V a COVID-19 vaccine
Outlet: The Lancet
Date: 14 October 2020

 

Title: Prof Hussell explains why COVID-19 has proven so deadly compared to other coronaviruses.
Outlet:BBC News
Date: 23 October 2020

 

Title: Prof Hussell explains why herd immunity through vaccination and recovery from infection is the desired outcome, rather than from letting the virus run free through the population.
Outlet: The Independent
Date: 23 October 2020

 

Title: Professor Tracy Hussell, director of the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Manchester, said a virus works its way out of a community because most of the people become immune to it.
Outlet:The Standard
Date: 23 October 2020

 

Title: Comment on why changes in the immune system as we age might mean a COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t trigger the required response to provide immunity in older people.
Outlet: The Daily Mail

Date: 10 November 2020

Elizabeth Mann

Overview: Talking about the best ways to beat COVID-19
Outlet: Channel 4 News and Sky News
Date: 31 March 2020

 

Title:  Top scientists racing to pinpoint who will be hit hardest by coronavirus
Outlet: Manchester Evening News (MEN)
Date: 5 April 2020

 

Overview: Elizabeth explained the work being carried out to understand why some people show a much stronger immune response than others, which contributes to the severity of COVID-19.
Outlet: BBC Radio 5
Date: 11 April 2020

 

Title:  Our entire way of working has changed
Outlet: The Biologist
Date: 20 April 2020

 

Title:  Testing for COVID-19
Outlet: BBC Radio 4
Date: 28 March 2020


Title: Explains why it is “unlikely” that Donald Trump exposed Joe Biden to COVID-19 during the recent Presidential debate.
Outlet: BBC Science Focus
Date: 30 September 2020

 

Title:  Immunology in a pandemic
Outlet: Facebook Live
Date: 29 April 2020

 

Title: Guest speaker on BBC Radio
Outlet: BBC Radio Sussex
Date: 10 June 2020

 

Title: Explaining why some people experience more severe cases of COVID-19
Outlet: BBC Science Focus
Date: 30 September 2020

 

Title: What happens when innate immunity goes wrong in COVID-19
Outlet: BBC World Service
Date: 30 September 2020

Madhvi Menon

Overview: Talking about the best ways to beat COVID-19
Outlet: Channel 4 News and Sky News
Date:31 March 2020

 

Title:  Top scientists racing to pinpoint who will be hit hardest by coronavirus
Outlet: Manchester Evening News (MEN)
Date: 5 April 2020

 

Title: Our entire way of working has changed
Outlet: The Biologist
Date: 20 April 2020

 

Title: Immunology in a pandemic
Outlet: Facebook Live
Date: 29 April 2020

 

Title: Comment - although a healthy lifestyle can boost your immune system, “very little is currently known” about how to avoid a severe case of COVID-19
Outlet: Express
Date: 13 September 2020

 

Title: Explains why it is “unlikely” that Donald Trump exposed Joe Biden to COVID-19 during the recent Presidential debate.
Outlet: BBC Science Focus
Date: 30 September 2020

Nancy Rothwell

Overview: The World Tomorrow Podcast
Outlet: Sky News
Date: 21 July 2020