What is involved

REACT-GE and GenOMICC COVID-19 studies

The REACT-GE Study has now finished recruiting. Thank you to everyone who took part in this.

You can read the information below to find out how we conducted the study.

Trio4


Participants who took part will have had one of their blood samples sent to a laboratory for genomic sequencing by Illumina, our partners at Cambridge University. The remaining samples were sent to a laboratory in London operated by Affinity Biomarkers who processed them and prepared them for sending to other academic and commercial partners in the UK and overseas to carry out analyses for research purposes.

We asked for participants' consent to sequence their DNA and store it, and to access and store relevant parts of their health records, now and in the future.

You can download and read the Participant Information Sheets below for more details on the studies and what it meant to consent to be part of them.

GenOMICC COVID-19 Study Participant Information Sheet

REACT-GE Study Participant Information Sheet

You can read our privacy notices here.

Why do you need people's health records and how do you keep them safe?

We need your health records because a DNA sequence does not have much meaning without them. They allow us to ‘interpret’ it properly. For instance, childhood infections could be important. And because it is becoming clear that COVID-19 has long lasting consequences, we need to know what happens to you next healthwise. This information could help predict which people might be at risk of late onset complications. Your genome could provide vital help here.

We make sure that your sequence and health data are confidential and secure.

Privacy and confidentiality

Participant privacy and confidentiality is key to our studies. To maintain your privacy, any information that could identify you is removed from your health records and your health data before we get it. This process is called de-identifying.

Keeping your data secure

Nobody but approved health researchers – from academia, industry and the NHS will be able to use the de-identified genomic and health data in our data centre to discover more about COVID-19 There are more details of all the processes we have put in place to ensure your data is safe here.

After your genome has been sequenced and mapped, it is stored in The National Genomic Research Library which is a secure national resource of genomic, health data and samples. Genomics England is its guardian.