COVID-19 test

Flagship SIREN study expands

The UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) flagship SIREN study is set to enter its next phase.

The SIREN study, otherwise known as the SARS-CoV-2 immunity and reinfection study, was originally established in June 2020 to test healthcare professionals across the UK for COVID-19.

The information gathered from this exercise has informed the national response against the virus.

Last winter, the study introduced influenza and respiratory syncytial virus testing to better understand the impact they had over the festive months – this will continue this year.

Now, the SIREN study will evaluate the efficacy of the jab against the new variant called BA.2.86, which has seen the autumn vaccine campaign brought forward. SIREN 2.0 will recruit from the original 45,000 cohort of health workers.

                                                                                Video credit: Canva

UKHSA has also expanded its partnerships with the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute.

The Wellcome Sanger Institute will use metagenomics to sequence samples provided by UKHSA and investigate other pathogens that lead to respiratory infection – like parainfluenza.

UKHSA will also share any influenza virus strains identified during SIREN 2.0 with the Worldwide Influenza Centre, which could contribute to the development of new vaccines for future flu seasons.

Blood samples are already being tested thanks to UKHSA’s new vaccine development and evaluation centre.

“We hope that by expanding the range of respiratory viruses that are routinely sequenced, we can contribute to scientific understanding that will help prevent and treat infections caused by respiratory viruses,” said Dr Ewan Harrison, who is head of the respiratory virus and microbiome initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Image credit: iStock

NHE September/October 2023

NHE September/October 2023

Empowering the next generation to lead the way in hard-to-treat cancers.

The September/October 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep. 36
How interoperability can support the NHS's core goals
with Ed Platt

In episode 36 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Omnicell’s UK professional services director, Ed Platt, to discuss interoperability in the NHS, practical examples of where it can be leveraged best, the importance of the health service's digital transformation journey and more.

More articles...

View all