New Manchester study reveals key immune features of COVID-19

by | Sep 17, 2020 | COVID-19, News, Uncategorised | 0 comments

The Coronavirus Immune Response and Clinical Outcome (CIRCO) consortium, based at The University of Manchester, has published their first paper detailing unappreciated immune characteristics induced following COVID-19 infection. Published today in Science Immunology the study identifies a particular white blood cell, the monocyte, as having aberrant features that are enriched in severe COVID-19 patients. Monocytes are an important component in the lung during infection and this paper further re-enforces that this population may be an important therapeutic target in COVID-19.

Dr. John Grainger, Deputy Director of the Lydia Becker and a senior author on the study said: “Our work once again highlights the importance of the innate immune system in COVID-19, we’re excited to be able to finally share the results of our study and hope that it can better inform treatments for this devastating disease”.

The CIRCO consortium draws together immunological expertise from the Lydia Becker Institute with clinicians at Salford Royal, Wythenshawe, North Manchester and Manchester Royal NHS Trusts. It was set-up during the first wave of the pandemic to collect longitudinal samples from patients with diagnosed COVID-19; studying their immune response from hospital admission through to outcome. The study was in part supported by a rapid response COVID-19 award from The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research (

Prof. Tracy Hussell, Director of the Lydia Becker Institute, added: “Thanks to all members of the CIRCO team for their hard work on this study it has been a great example of scientists and clinicians working together to give new insight into this infection”.