VERDI is a large consortium that prioritises pregnant women, children and high-risk populations in research on new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. It also focuses on preparedness for future infections outbreaks, building on experiences with COVID-19 and mpox.

VERDI brings together a diverse range of cohort studies, including large scale national and regional level population-based cohort studies, in depth hospital cohorts, transmission studies, and participatory studies, from the EU and beyond, providing a unique opportunity for coordinated analyses and modelling of data on SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and mpox from a range of sources.

What is VERDI?

SARS-CoV2 variants Evaluation in pRegnancy and paeDIatrics cohorts

VERDI is a project that aims to answer research questions on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents. VERDI will also focus on populations at increased risk for mpox, such as people living with HIV and people attending sexual health clinics.

Through a multidisciplinary global network, VERDI will generate improved evidence on the epidemiology, outcomes, prevention and treatment of variants of SARS-CoV-2 amongst children and pregnant women as a global response to the pandemic, involving cohort studies from diverse geographic and economic settings. It will also improve understanding of the epidemiology and impact of mpox in children, pregnant women and high-risk groups.

The evidence and insight arising from the multidisciplinary research will help to rapidly deliver recommendations on the best strategies to control viral spread and optimize clinical management and treatment of COVID-19 and mpox infection.

Finally, VERDI will develop research preparedness in case there are changes in the ongoing outbreaks and possible (re-)emergence of future infections. The network will build on the well-established cohort partners involved across the world.

Why is VERDI needed?

Since its emergence in 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has been a ‘moving target’, with different variants of concern emerging across the world, which may increase the transmissibility, severity and immune evasion of the virus. Children and pregnant women can be more vulnerable to infections outbreaks. Monitoring these groups across regions is crucial given rapid changes in epidemiology due to varying country-level interventions, vaccine rollout, booster programmes and viral evolution, which have global effects.

As with SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, the future of the mpox outbreak in non-endemic countries remains uncertain. Therefore, it is important to continue to monitor the epidemiology in currently affected groups – particularly people living with or at high risk of HIV – as well as children and pregnant women, who could become more severely affected if there is more widespread infection in the community.

What are VERDI’s objectives?

VERDI’s objectives are:

  • To track and characterise SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and mpox in paediatric and pregnant populations and other high risk populations across the globe.
  • To rapidly advance the understanding of effects of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and mpox, in particular concerning the potential differential effects on transmission, severity of disease and treatment, and vaccine effectiveness.
  • To model the outcomes and impacts of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and mpox.
  • To develop evidence-based and robust recommendations for control of COVID-19 and mpox, including vaccination and treatment options strategies.

Visit the VERDI project webpage.

The VERDI project (101045989) is funded by the European Union.