Rapid European COVID-19 Emergency Research response

How severe is COVID-19 and how transmissible is its causative pathogen SARS-CoV-2?

The overall goal of RECoVER is to develop data and evidence-based knowledge on the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, and translate these into recommendations for improved patient management and/or public health response measures.


Why do we need RECOVER?

At the end of 2019 a novel coronavirus, the SARS-CoV-2, erupted in mainland China, causing an infectious disease called COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. This new virus then started spreading in Europe and worldwide.

A rapid response is crucial to limit the impact of the epidemic. In order to provide an effective response, medical professionals and public health authorities need to know exactly how the virus spreads, who is most at risk, how severe the disease is, and how patients are best diagnosed and treated. Only scientific research can help in getting all these answers.

It’s often difficult to set-up research projects at the beginning of an epidemic. Moreover, our response to severe outbreaks of infectious diseases is often delayed, isolated, and fragmented, thus missing opportunities to improve the response to the new disease.


What is RECOVER about?

In 2014, the EU-funded PREPARE project set up a platform for a European clinical research network, covering primary care and hospital care in all EU Member States. The aim of this platform is to guarantee a rapid clinical research response. PREPARE operates in four different modes:



Studies carried out in Mode 0 response, provide a repository of useful data related to human host response towards respiratory viruses, that can be helpful for studies on COVID-19.

Initial protocols for detecting the virus were prepared in collaboration with other clinical research networks, when PREPARE entered Mode 1 in response to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

Once PREPARE raised its response to Mode 2, surveys were sent to 270 of its diagnostic laboratories, spanning 42 European countries, to assess their capacities to detect the virus.

PREPARE moved to a Mode 3 response given that sustained transmission of the disease has been detected amongst the European population. The EU-funded RECOVER project arises from PREPARE’s research response plan to face SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. RECOVER’s efforts will complement ongoing research in China and other parts of the world.

First future steps of RECOVER include:

– A survey to understand EU citizens’ experience of COVID-19 and its impacts;

– A study to understand household transmission and the impact of interventions to mitigate transmission;

– A study to determine in primary care setting the proportion of patients  with respiratory tract infection and/or COVID-19 suspicion that are infected with SARS-CoV-2.

– A study to better understand if and how children may contribute to the spread of the virus;

– Recommendations to the EU on protecting the health of those at the frontline tackling the spread of the outbreak.

The results of all RECOVER studies will immediately inform the European response to COVID-19.


What is the consortium?

RECoVER involves key partners from PREPARE:  University of Antwerp (Belgium), University Medical Center Utrecht (The Netherlands), Erasmus Medical Center (The Netherlands), University of Oxford (United Kingdom), Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany), Academic Medical Center (The Netherlands), Fondazione Penta (Italy).

This group has been augmented with specific specialised research groups from Institut Pasteur (France) and Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (France), and linked to SARS-CoV-2 research response efforts conducted by Institut Pasteur (Shanghai) in China.

RECOVER is a 2-year project, started in 2020.


What is the role of Penta in RECOVER?

Penta will contribute to establish a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, by supporting enrollment of pediatric patients in clinical sites that are part of Penta network. The aim of this cohort study is to understand the patophysiology and epidemiology of this new disease.


Go to RECOVER website

Go to RECOVER Twitter account


RECOVER Press Releases

EU commits to tackling COVID-19 with new project – 11 March 2020

flag_yellow_highThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme


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