SARS-CoV2 Variants Evaluation in Pregnancy and Paediatrics Cohorts

What are the effects of existing and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants on pregnant women and children?

What are the epidemiology, risk factors and treatment outcomes of mpox amongst children, pregnant women and population groups at risk of mpox?

How can these cohorts best prepare for outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases?

What is this study about?

Variants of concern (VoC) of SARS-CoV-2 raise the possibility of increases in transmissibility, severity and immune system evasion. There is less evidence of the effect and impact of VoC on children and pregnant women, who have not been prioritised in the pandemic, compared to non-pregnant adults. Vaccine coverage is often lower in these groups, and there are fewer treatment options.

The 2022-23 mpox outbreak remains unpredictable and it is important to continue to monitor its effects in groups who are currently at higher risk of infection as well as other groups who may be more affected in future.

VERDI (SARS-CoV-2 variants Evaluation in pRegnancy and paeDIatrics cohorts) will investigate the impact of VoC in these vulnerable groups, bringing together 29 centres of excellence from around the world to investigate the emergence, transmission and consequences (morbidity and mortality) of SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as to understand the epidemiology and impact of mpox in children, pregnant women and high-risk groups.

VERDI’s objectives are to:

  1. Track and characterise VoC and mpox in paediatric and pregnant populations and other high risk populations across the globe;
  2. Understand effects of VoC and mpox on clinical outcomes (short/longer term), vaccine effectiveness and transmission characteristics;
  3. Model outcomes and impacts of VoC and mpox;
  4. Develop evidence-based recommendations for control of COVID-19 and mpox and other emerging or re-emerging infections.

The study will also promote flexibility to adapt to future emerging infections.

Type of study

Observational study

Contact details

Who is funding the study?

This study is funded by the European Union.

When is it taking place?

The study opened in November 2021 and will run until the end of October 2025.

Where is it taking place?

VERDI includes partners in Europe, USA, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, specifically:
• Belgium
• Cyprus
• Estonia
• France
• Germany
• Haiti
• Israel
• Italy
• Nigeria
• The Netherlands
• Norway
• South Africa
• Spain
• Switzerland
• Thailand
• UK
• USA.

Who is included?

The SARS-CoV-2 studies within VERDI include pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents enrolled in cohorts around the world, including those based on electronic health records, bespoke cohort studies, household transmission studies and screening programmes.

VERDI’s studies on mpox include adults, children and adolescents diagnosed with mpox and people attending sexual health clinics who may be at higher risk of mpox.