Project Title: Analysis of intrapatient SARS-Cov-2 genetic variation
NIAID Principal Investigator: Eli Boritz, M.D., Ph.D
Chief, Virus Persistence and Dynamics Section, IL, VRC
Does mutation of SARS-CoV-2 within each infected person contribute to virologic, immunologic, and clinical outcomes?
Over time, viruses may accumulate mutations that affect their ability to cause disease or to escape the immune response. The Virus Persistence and Dynamics Section of the Immunology Laboratory (IL) in the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) will explore the intrapatient diversity of SARS-CoV-2 sequences using high-throughput, long-read, single-molecule sequencing. When correlated with disease phenotype and the results of other NIAID studies, the analysis of these data could expose important evolutionary events occurring within infected individuals, thus informing new treatment approaches.
Respiratory tract and blood samples will be studied. Specific sample types include upper airway fluid (nasal wash, NP/OP swab), lower airway fluid (tracheal aspirate, BAL), and blood plasma or serum. Optimal sample volume is 1 mL. Longitudinal study of individual patients is especially useful, including samples taken 1) upon hospital admission, 2) during hospitalization, 3) at discharge, and 4) after discharge.