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Epidemiological investigation on peptide signatures, immunity, genetic predisposition as well as changes in SARS-CoV-2.

The project

Search for genetic factors in COVID-19.

Can genetic variants explain the individual courses of the disease with or without severe complications? These and related questions will be investigated in the EPI-Dx project by collecting data from serological, genetic and PCR tests. Despite intensive research into all aspects of COVID-19 disease and pandemic (COronaVIrus Disease 2019), many questions of immunisation and epidemiology remain unanswered. In particular, questions about the development of immunity and infectivity are difficult to research due to the fact that transmission appears to be particularly strong before the onset of symptoms. Reliable findings on the development of immunity even before vaccines are available are therefore of utmost importance for the ability to act in health policy. The question of under which circumstances one can expect a mild or severe course of COVID-19 beyond the so-called risk groups is still unknown. Genetic dispositions are also still part of the research.

Diagnostics can make a major contribution here if differential data are collected in good time and in sufficient depth, and if they are as complete as possible. In this context, complete means:

positive confirmation of the infection (PCR test)

genome profile of the current virus

genetic profile of the infected person

Our investigations are intended to record both the individual course of immunity and the predisposition of individual patients. To this end, the genetic variations of patients with mild and severe courses of the disease, including those of the membrane proteins involved, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, will be examined in detail.

In addition to clinical parameters, the variation of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) will also be taken into account. Based on the results, a diagnostic panel is to be developed that will allow timely individualised predictions on the possible course of the disease.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. 03COV21).


Cooperation partners

Dr. Karsten R. Heidtke

ATLAS Biolabs GmbH - PI

ATLAS Biolabs GmbH is a pan-European research and biotech company with long-standing expertise in next-generation sequencing and DNA chip technologies. The company was founded in 2006 as a spin-off of the German Resource Center for Genome Research and the Cologne Center for Genomics at the University of Cologne. ATLAS Biolabs collaborates with research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as clinical researchers and physicians in Germany and abroad. In 2020, the company collaborated on the Corona-BUND study, a nationally representative study of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Prof. Dr. Jörg-M. Hollidt

in.vent Diagnostica GmbH

Good diagnostic products require high quality human biomaterial (sera, standards, control samples, purified proteins, and antibodies). In view of this need, in.vent spun off from the Research Department of B.R.A.H.M.S. AG in 1997. Understanding diagnostics and the resulting requirements for a good product is their basis. in.vent recognised the need for the production of in-vitro diagnostics and specialised in the secure, qualitative and ethically sound procurement of biological material. As an independent entity, in.vent  has been procuring biological raw materials on a project basis since 2000, primarily for the diagnostic industry. Furthermore, since 2018, they have been conducting blood collections for their projects in their own study center “Blut Hilft Forschen”.

Dr. Arif Malik

MicroDiscovery GmbH

MicroDiscovery is a leading provider of innovative and certified software solutions for innovative diagnostics, individualised medicine, and molecular biology research. The Berlin-based company was founded in 2000 and has already won many renowned companies as customers thanks to its high level of expertise in the realisation of customised solutions. Matching services, from biostatistical data analysis and algorithm development to bioinformatic planning and support of complex research projects, complete the MicroDiscovery GmbH offer.


Tool for efficient search of SARS-CoV relevant variants in dbSNP.

To the search

Always up to date


Get in touch

Project management

Dr. Karsten Heidtke

T +49 30 3198966-0