La Paz University Hospital (HULP) is a public hospital in Spain conducting SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology research in the northern part of the nation’s capital, Madrid—one of the region’s most severely impacted by the coronavirus. Spain, one of the countries greatly impacted by SARS-COV-2 during the early days of the crisis, has only recently emerged from a 7-week lockdown. The hospital represents one of the largest single-site cohorts in Europe after confirming over 2,500 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases by the end of April, four months after the first case of the virus was identified in the country.
A SARS-CoV-2 research group at HULP has since published their findings regarding the samples from the cohort, including information such as demographic, presence of confounding factors, symptoms, infection severity and outcome. This study is one of the first descriptions of a large cohort affected by SARS-CoV-2 and is an invaluable step towards gaining a better understanding of how the virus impacts different groups within the general population, and to drive the development of potentially effective treatment strategies for each group.
In this crisis, another critical aspect to understand is the evolutionary patterns that may influence the spread of the virus. As one of the first in the country to generate genome sequences for SARS-CoV-2, researchers at HULP are using the data to generate valuable insights that are essential for understanding the epidemiology of the disease to better understand the dynamics of transmission and identify genetic variation in the virus that may inform vaccine development research.
Dr. Jesús Mingorance, a biologist and researcher at HULP, has used Thermo Fisher Scientific’s latest Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel to sequence SARS-CoV-2 genomes. With the full genome sequences of 70 samples generated using this new SARS-CoV-2 panel, mostly from nasopharyngeal swabs, Dr. Mingorance plans to perform a phylogenetic analysis to investigate inter-sample variation, which can provide information about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 in the region as well as the evolution of the different strains since the start of the crisis.
Dr. Mingorance’s group has also shared their data with GISAID, an initiative that promotes and supports the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses, including SARS-COV-2. Sharing of this information can provide vital information from the early crisis period that is still lacking.
 “A cohort of patients with COVID-19 in a major teaching hospital in Europe
View ORCID Profile” by Alberto M Borobia, Antonio J Carcas, Francisco Arnalich, Rodolfo Alvarez-Sala, Jaime Montserrat, Manuel Quintana, Juan C Figueira, Rosario M Torres Santos-Olmo, Julio Garcia-Rodriguez, Alberto Martin-Vega, Elena Ramirez, Antonio Buno, Gonzalo Martinez-Ales, Nicolas Garcia-Arenzana, Concepcion Nunez Lopez, Milagros Marti de Gracia, Francisco Moreno, Francisco Reinoso-Barbero, Alejandro Martin-Quiros, Angelica Rivera, Jesus Mingorance, Carlos C Carpio, Daniel Prieto Arribas, Esther Rey Cuevas, Maria C Prados, Juan J Rios, Miguel Hernan, Jesus Frias, Jose R Arribas, COVID@HULP working team; https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.29.20080853
Research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.