The challenge

The long-term effects of COVID-19 illness are currently unknown. Although most people recover from acute illness the ongoing impacts on health and wellbeing remain to be defined, particularly in those with mild-moderate illness.

The project

The ADAPT study is following patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection through St Vincent’s Hospital clinical service at regular intervals over a minimum of one-year post diagnosis. All patients including those managed in the community and hospitalised are eligible to participate. Patients diagnosed from other clinical services may also enrol.

The method

ADAPT is collecting details on people’s symptoms at regular intervals after infection. It also collects data on their respiratory and neurocognitive function, and on their mental health and wellbeing. Blood tests are taken to measure the immune response, both in terms of antibodies and more complicated tests of immunological function. These will help us understand whether SARS-CoV-2 infection provides any protection from reinfection and inform vaccine development. Patients’ blood samples will also contribute to an important research biobank for other collaborators wishing to conduct SARS-CoV-2 research.

ADAPT is currently collaborating with other researchers from the Kirby Institute, the Garvan Institute, the Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney and The George Institute. 

The impact

Understanding the medium-long term impact of COVID-19 infection is critically important to develop improved post-COVID-19 clinical care and guide future health service requirements. Studying the immunological response in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection will provide important information on the role of the immune system in recovery and guide vaccine development.