About the project
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is perceived as an independent clinical entity in the society as a whole, but also medically. However, it should be noted that no “variable” which would be “linear”, such as age, weight, physical condition does always predict the severity of the disease, certainly not for all groups of the population.
Comprehensive clinically relevant information should be taken into account in the prognosis or prediction of the course of the disease. These include the prevalence of severe but relatively common comorbidities, most often caused by lifestyle diseases (diseasesd of civilization), such as diabetes or inflammatory bowel diseases. For example, patients with COVID-19 who also have diabetes with severe complications have been shown to have an increased risk of severe course of the disease and a higher mortality almost by the factor of 20 compared to the general population.
Detailed information about the health condition of an individual and his/her biological capabilities in terms of the ability to respond (not only) to acute respiratory diseases can be obtained directly or indirectly through the so-called genomic analyses. These can potentially be used to identify biomarkers applicable in personalized medicine, as they can simultaneously provide information not only about the genetic background of a particular individual (the host genome) but also his/her response to acute respiratory disease at the tissue level (local host transcriptome) in combination with knowledge about a specific pathogen causing the disease (metagenome/metatranscriptome containing information on a specific pathogen) obtained in real time.
In the future, this type of information should provide the most comprehensive view of the patient for clinical specialists, whose task will be to determine the prognosis of the disease as accurately as possible and choose the most targeted therapy or tools to monitor its success.
The project will therefore conduct research activity aimed at:
- sample collection and research into the course of COVID-19 in the context of lifestyle diseases (diabetes and inflammatory bowel diseases);
- introduction and validation of genomic sequencing procedures with different application output (genome/metagenome/transcriptome/metatranscriptome);
- identification of new biomarkers applicable in personalized medicine;
- introduction and validation of methods for rapid screening of identified biomarkers useful in routine clinical practice.