GenOMICC is conceived as an open-source research study, so that any clinical investigator, anywhere, can set up their own version of the study. To begin recruitment you need to have ethical approval and approval from your institutional management. The GenOMICC team can help you to obtain these approvals. Please check the map on the front page to see if recruitment is already underway near to you - you might be able to save time and energy by collaborating with someone in a nearby institution or country.
If you have a case who meets the WHO case definition for hepatitis of unknown origin in children then please consider recruiting them to the GenOMICC study. Genetics could make a big difference in our understanding of this outbreak, by pointing to the causative agent (e.g. if genetic associations are found in genes associated with other viruses) or by suggesting specific therapies, as our previous genetic study of Covid did by finding the genetic variant that led to the discovery of baricitinib as an effective treatment.
In this outbreak, disease occurs in very young children, which increases the chance of a strong genetic effect. So far, it looks like the causative agent is something that many people are exposed to, but only a small fraction develop hepatitis. Again, this suggests that a strong impact from host genetics may be present: there is a high likelihood of rare deleterious variants causing extreme susceptibility. Since these variants may not be present on population screening arrays, the best method to find them is whole genome sequencing in parent-child trios.
This work occurs in parallel with the ISARIC/WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol. Cases recruited under the ISARIC CCP may have samples obtained for genetics. If so, only the parents are needed.
We need to obtain consent and a sample of DNA from:
Consent forms can be found here, and sampling kits are available from the GenOMICC team. You can either perform genome sequencing locally, or share the samples with the GenOMICC study team in Edinburgh, and we will arrange to do it.
Investigators can share and access data through the Outbreak Data Analysis Platform.