Fine analysis of longitudinal immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in vaccination: Harnessing the power of ‘Stop The Spread Ottawa’ to understand immune protection in COVID-19

Angela M. Crawley and Marc-André Langlois, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

This research team is studying the T cell response in participants over the course of a year. We are evaluating how participants’ T cells respond to COVID-19, as well as antibodies, using a systematic approach to define correlates of protection (COP).
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Identification of microbial factors to modulate immune dysregulation and treat post-COVID-19 syndrome

Emilia Liana Falcone, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal

This research centers around a hypothesis that long COVID symptoms are at least in part due to microbes in the intestines caused by COVID-19 which create bacteria that leaks from the stomach and intestinal lining and moves elsewhere in the body including into the blood, resulting in persistent inflammation.
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Autoimmunity as a novel mechanism in post-COVID syndrome

Andrew Baker and Claudia dos Santos, Unity Health Toronto

This group of researchers is looking at post-COVID syndrome and its relationship to post-ICU (intensive care unit) syndrome. They are following 200 participants with post-COVID syndrome. Their main hypothesis is that autoimmunity—when a person’s immune system produces autoantibodies that cause damage to the body—plays a role in post-COVID syndrome.
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SARS-CoV-2 triggers Autoimmunity: implications for the pathogenesis of Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome (AI-PACS)

Manali Mukherjee, McMaster University

This team of expert clinicians and scientists is following 120 people experiencing long COVID in Ontario and British Columbia. They aim to understand the exact impairment long COVID engenders in the immune system, why patients with it develop autoantibodies, and characterize the impact long COVID has on clinical symptoms.
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Variants of Concern

Allison McGeer
Allison McGeer

Variants of concern: escape from infection- and vaccination-induced immunity in older adults

Anne-Claude Gingras and Allison McGeer, Sinai Health System

This team is studying to what extent the different variants circulating in Canada are efficiently neutralized in older adults’ immune systems after vaccination. It’s important to study older adults as this population group is likely to build lower levels of antibodies following vaccination and is more susceptible to severe disease.
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Intranasal multivalent vaccines targeting COVID-19 variants of concern

Jun Liu, University of Toronto

This study aims to develop multivalent vaccines, that is, vaccines which are capable of combatting more than one variant at the same time. The team is also determining the benefits of administering these vaccines by the nose, rather than with a needle.
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Mapping the Emergence and Functional Impact of Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Jeff Wrana and Laurence Pelletier, Sinai Health System

This study is using data from thousands of positive COVID-19 samples to identify known and new variants. It seeks to define the impact of the mutations on the virus’ ability to infect cells and be neutralized. The team will also use next-generation sequencing to identify why VOCs are more infectious and deadly and use mathematical modelling to monitor and predict the spread and prevalence of VOCs.
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Evaluating the durability and the cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 immunity elicited by COVID-19 vaccines

Mark Brockman and Felix Breden, Simon Fraser University

This project is comparing the immune response in younger and older adults after administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The team is following people to characterize the range of antibody-producing B cells each person generates, and to link genetic features of these cells to each individual’s ability to neutralize viral variants of concern.
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Viral diversity and immune escape: variants in vulnerable individuals post-vaccination

Ciriaco Piccirillo, McGill University Health Centre

This study is actively investigating new SARS-CoV-2 infections in about 100 vaccinated people in general and priority populations. It is assessing the impact of variants on human health through viral genomics, computational biology, and immune testing.
Research summary Results