Establish a dedicated research capacity for epidemiological, phylogenetic, virological and immunological studies to determine the impact of variants on the course of the epidemic, the pathogenesis of the infection, vaccine efficacy and treatment, effectiveness of our diagnostic tests, etc.

The 2 approaches pursued

1- Epidemiological and phylogenetic studies

Epidemiological and phylogenetic studies for:

  • Public health recommendations tailored to circulating virus variants for pandemic management (e.g., reinfections, super transmitters, chains of transmission, outbreaks, increased transmissibility/morbidity, etc.)

  • Identification of regional clusters that may pose a greater threat to population health or lead to a change in case and contact tracing strategy

  • Monitoring of the introduction of known variants of interest/of concern in Quebec

  • Anticipation of increased demands on the health care system (e.g. hospitalizations, treatments, tests) based on the criteria of contagiousness/virulence/severity of a new circulating variant

  • Performance of diagnostic tests (nucleic acid amplification tests and serology); impact on case diagnosis and seroprevalence studies

  • Fine-tuning of vaccination strategy according to circulating variants if immune response escape and antigenic drift

2- Immunological studies

Analyses to be performed if mutations appear in the Spike protein, among others. As this protein is the basis of the vaccines now available, we need to understand the impact on :

  • viral infectivity (in vitro)

  • viral tropism

  • viral transmissibility in vivo (animal models if available)

  • the conformation of the Spike protein

If a major antigenic drift is identified, then these results will allow rapid adaptation of serology tests and modification of vaccines capable of protecting against the new variant.

Sentinelle COVID Québec group members

Our Partners

The research and consultation work of the Sentinelle COVID Quebec functional group is made possible through the financial support of our partners.