ISARIC 4C (Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium)

We are a UK-wide consortium of doctors and scientists committed to answering urgent questions about COVID-19 quickly, openly, and for the benefit of all.

  • how long are people infectious, and what body fluids are infectious?
  • what puts people at higher risk of severe illness?
  • what is the best way to diagnose the disease?
  • who should we treat early with drugs, and which drugs cause harm?
  • does the immune system in some patients do more harm than good?
  • what other infections(such as pneumonia or flu) happen at the same time?

Over the last 8 years we have been preparing for such a major outbreak worldwide International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium Clinical Characterisation Protocol; our team deployed immediately and has been collecting data and samples since the first cases were reported in the UK.


ISARIC 4C is funded by two major awards from UK Reasearch and Inovation (UKRI) and The National Institute For Health Research (NIHR). A grant from UKRI Medical Research Council with a total value of £5.9M to JK Baillie (PI), University of Edinburgh; MG Semple, University of Liverpool; and P Openshaw, Imperial College London (co-leads). Full list of investigators and specific deliverables. A grant from NIHR with a current value of £4.9M to MG Semple (CI), University of Liverpool; AD Docherty, University of Edinburgh, and CA Green, University of Birmingham. We share data and samples to get answers as fast as possible. We will not end this outbreak sitting on a biobank; our intention is to use every drop of every sample, now, to have the biggest possible impact on the COVID-19 crisis. Any investigators with the ability to contribute can access our data and samples. The ISARIC-4C study provides a foundation for other studies, such as clinical trials of new treatments, to help better understand the best way to use interventions.


We have recruited:

  • 1772 patients at Tier 2 (serial sampling)
  • 702 at Tier 1 (single sample)
  • 77268 patients at Tier Zero (case report forms - source data for the COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN))
  • Critically-ill patients can also be recruited to a sister study, the ISARIC GenOMICC study

Risk prediction: the 4C Score

BMJ 2020;370:m3339 The ISARIC 4C prognostic score Using data from 57,824 hospital admissions, w...

T cell activation

Nature Immunology (4th September 2020) Immune cells target many different parts of the virus ...

Characterisation of hospitalised cases of COVID-19

BMJ: 2020; 369 Quantifying the problem Within weeks of being funded, we produced the largest st...

Impact on children

BMJ 2020;370:m3249 Clinical characterisation of Covid-19 in children We have comprehensively ch...

Symptom clusters

MedRxiv August 16th 2020. Because of the large scale of the ISARIC-4C study, we were able to d...


SSRN July 2020 Impact of ethnicity We have carefully studied the effect of ethnicity on outcome...


MedRxiv September 2020 Genetic mechanisms of severe Covid-19 We have discovered multiple genes ...

Testing the tests

MedRxiv May 2020 We proposed and established a Diagnostic Evaluation Platform at the University ...

ICECAP autopsy study

MedRxiv June 2020 Supporting autopsy work ISARIC 4C resources and consortium partners supported...

Setting Serology Standards

Setting the standard ISARIC 4C defined the international reference standard for SARS-CoV-2 serol...


Medrxiv June 2020 Transmission dynamics of COVID-19 We have explored the mechanisms of viral tr...