“By studying different populations with the same method, we can move toward a broader understanding of immune response to viruses across age groups, backgrounds and chronic diseases,” Dr. Altman says. “We should gain more insight into patterns we already know about and learn more about parts of the immune system we don’t really understand.”
At the beginning of the study, researchers will collect vast amounts of data including blood samples, breath samples and nasal swabs. If participants get a virus, they’ll give additional samples. The research team will examine these samples to see how the immune system changes when infected with a virus. Eventually, this information will be available to scientists across HIPC.
“This study will help us better understand what’s going on in the immune systems of people who are at risk for complications, and how viruses may lead to or worsen immune system disease,” Dr. Mikacenic says. “For other scientists, this data could also provide insight into everything from pediatric asthma to T cell response to vaccination.”