Ancestry® is working to gain a deeper understanding of COVID-19 by searching for a genomic component to how people contract and respond to the virus. This information may be useful in the global effort to develop treatments, preventatives, or vaccines for the disease.
How the study will work
People who have taken an AncestryDNA® test and who want to participate will be asked to complete a short survey. If eligible, your DNA will be compared against other participants to discover any genomic similarities that may be associated with reactions to the virus.
This information may then be shared with qualified researchers who are studying different treatment options for COVID-19, including possible vaccines or other preventative measures. Your privacy is our top priority. You can learn more about how it is protected in our FAQs and in the section below, “How we protect your privacy.”
Participating is easy, you just need to:
Be 18 years of age or older
Be a resident of the United States
Be an existing AncestryDNA® customer
Be able to complete a short survey
Although participation in this study is not guaranteed, Ancestry® invites all customers who are willing and eligible to complete the research survey, even if they have not personally contracted COVID-19.
How we protect your privacy
This is a voluntary study and your DNA data is only used if you have consented to participate in research. Your DNA data, along with your survey answers, will be de-identified, which means you will have no personal identifying information attached to your DNA. You can read our Privacy Statement for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a genetic connection between how different people respond to COVID-19. Our hope is that, through this knowledge, the pace of research into new preventive and therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 can be accelerated.
Determining whether this genetic link exists will be accomplished by identifying a group of people who may have been exposed to, tested positive for, or recovered from COVID-19 and running a genome wide association assay study (GWAS). A GWAS is a way for scientists to identify parts of DNA that occur more frequently in people with some particular trait versus in people without that trait.
For example, a trait might be having less severe symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19. A GWAS might identify one or more genetic reasons for this less severe reaction.
Survey responses and DNA data will be submitted to the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA), to be made available to qualified external researchers worldwide working to develop preventative and therapeutic treatments for COVID-19. The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) is an international data archive service that allows archiving and sharing of sequence and phenotypic data from scientific research projects, such as the data being collected in this study. Before these data are shared, they will be de-identified (stripped of direct and indirect identifiers like name, place of birth, and so on) and aggregated with other data to protect the privacy of participants.
Ancestry’s internal research ethics panel will review all submissions for research. Qualified researchers will be working towards developing preventive and therapeutic treatments against COVID-19. The panel will review submissions from external institutions or companies and select well established, reputable organizations with the ability to comply with all applicable regulations and ensure the security of the research data as well as protect the privacy of research participants.
Finding new ways to use science to advance our understanding of ourselves and our health is core to who we are. Ancestry’s team of scientists is working to see how we can best apply our expertise in genomics and science, network, and infrastructure to advance efforts to accelerate the identification of preventative and therapeutic treatments for COVID-19.
Survey questions will address:
- If you have been exposed to COVID-19
- If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19
- Symptoms experienced if you tested positive for COVID-19
- Any medications taken during treatment
- Health-related issues or habits that might influence the severity of COVID-19
- Age and demographics that might influence the severity of COVID-19
Data from this study will be used to:
- Understand an individual’s response to COVID-19
- Help develop vaccines and other preventives against COVID-19
- Help identify new ways to treat COVID-19
Any AncestryDNA® customer age 18 or older who lives in the United States and has agreed to participate in research. Learn more.
Your privacy is important to us. This participation is entirely voluntary, and all data used in the research is de-identified (stripped of direct and indirect identifiers like name, place of birth, and so on) and aggregated with other data to protect the privacy of our customers. Learn more.
Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary. If you don’t answer the survey questions, you will not be part of the study. Learn more.
Have more questions or need more information? Contact us.