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ISGlobal and GCAT-IGTP Launch Third Year of COVICAT-CONTENT Study

COVICAT monitors COVID-19 in different cohorts in Catalonia and the rest of Spain


The COVICAT-CONTENT 2023 study begins today, with the aim of monitoring COVID-19 in different cohorts in Catalonia and the rest of Spain. Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the GCAT|Genomes for Life project of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) evaluate the genetic and epidemiological determinants associated with the disease, as well as the long-term effects of the pandemic on people's physical and mental health and the evolution of the immune response. In this way, the objective is to help define predictive models and control policies for similar situations in the future.

The follow-up has been carried out annually since 2020 through online questionnaires to participants and serological analyses of blood samples to some of them with the collaboration of the Blood and Tissue Bank (BST). The last COVICAT edition had 8,023 volunteers, 59% women and 41% men. About 1,000 people provided a blood sample to test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The results have been summarized in a fact sheet with the most relevant COVICAT-CONTENT points.



The previous COVICAT-CONTENT study in 2021 provided new insight into the biological basis and the consequences of COVID-19. Regarding the genetics of the disease, the scientists identified several key variants for innate immunity and genes associated with infection, severity or clearance of the virus. They also studied external factors to observe their effect on disease risk, mental health and habit change following confinement measures.

Vaccines have been shown to be effective in maintaining antibodies longer. However, further research is needed to reveal the components that affect the development of a potent and long-lasting immune response. Similarly, those who show long-lasting sequelae (long COVID), who account for more than a quarter of those infected, should be helped.

COVICAT-CONTENT Related Publications

The COVICAT-CONTENT project has resulted in 10 scientific publications:

  • Severe Covid-19 GWAS Group; Ellinghaus D et al. Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure. N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 15;383(16):1522-1534. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2020283. PMID: 32558485; PMCID: PMC7315890.
  • Kousathanas A et al. Whole-genome sequencing reveals host factors underlying critical COVID-19. Nature. 2022 Jul;607(7917):97-103. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04576-6. PMID: 35255492; PMCID: PMC9259496.
  • COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative. A first update on mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19. Nature. 2022 Aug;608(7921):E1-E10. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04826-7. PMID: 35922517; PMCID: PMC9352569.
  • COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative. Mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19. Nature. 2021 Dec;600(7889):472-477. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03767-x. PMID: 34237774; PMCID: PMC8674144.
  • Degenhardt F et al. Detailed stratified GWAS analysis for severe COVID-19 in four European populations. Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Nov 28;31(23):3945-3966. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddac158. PMID: 35848942; PMCID: PMC9703941.
  • Delgado-Ortiz L, Carsin AE, Merino J, Cobo I, Koch S, Goldberg X, Chevance G, Bosch de Basea M, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, Carreras A, Cortes Martínez B, Straif K, de Cid R, Kogevinas M, Garcia-Aymerich J. Changes in Population Health-Related Behaviors During a COVID-19 Surge: A Natural Experiment. Ann Behav Med. 2022 Nov 17:kaac054. DOI: 10.1093/abm/kaac054. PMID: 36394497.
  • Karachaliou M, Moncunill G, Espinosa A, Castaño-Vinyals G, Rubio R, Vidal M, Jiménez A, Prados E, Carreras A, Cortés B, Blay N, Bañuls M, Pleguezuelos V, Melero NR, Serra P, Parras D, Izquierdo L, Santamaría P, Carolis C, Papantoniou K, Goldberg X, Aguilar R, Garcia-Aymerich J, de Cid R, Kogevinas M, Dobaño C. SARS-CoV-2 infection, vaccination, and antibody response trajectories in adults: a cohort study in Catalonia. BMC Med. 2022 Sep 16;20(1):347. DOI: 10.1186/s12916-022-02547-2. PMID: 36109713; PMCID: PMC9479347.
  • Goldberg X, Castaño-Vinyals G, Espinosa A, Carreras A, Liutsko L, Sicuri E, Foraster M, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Dadvand P, Moncunill G, Dobaño C, Cortés B, Pleguezuelos V, Straif K, Garcia-Aymerich J, de Cid R, Cardis E, Kogevinas M. Mental health and COVID-19 in a general population cohort in Spain (COVICAT study). Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2022 Dec;57(12):2457-2468. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-022-02303-0. PMID: 35633398; PMCID: PMC9142833.
  • Karachaliou M, Moncunill G, Espinosa A, Castaño-Vinyals G, Jiménez A, Vidal M, Santano R, Barrios D, Puyol L, Carreras A, Mayer L, Rubio R, Cortés B, Pleguezuelos V, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Fossati S, Rivas I, Casabonne D, Vrijheid M, Izquierdo L, Aguilar R, Basagaña X, Garcia-Aymerich J, de Cid R, Dobaño C, Kogevinas M. Infection induced SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and heterogeneity of antibody responses in a general population cohort study in Catalonia Spain. Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 3;11(1):21571. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-00807-4. PMID: 34732749; PMCID: PMC8566562.
  • Kogevinas M, Castaño-Vinyals G, Karachaliou M, Espinosa A, de Cid R, Garcia-Aymerich J, Carreras A, Cortés B, Pleguezuelos V, Jiménez A, Vidal M, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Cirach M, Santano R, Barrios D, Puyol L, Rubio R, Izquierdo L, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Dadvand P, Aguilar R, Moncunill G, Dobaño C, Tonne C. Ambient Air Pollution in Relation to SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Antibody Response, and COVID-19 Disease: A Cohort Study in Catalonia, Spain (COVICAT Study). Environ Health Perspect. 2021 Nov;129(11):117003. DOI: 10.1289/EHP9726. PMID: 34787480; PMCID: PMC8597405.


“la Caixa” Social Reearch grant SR20-01024.