About our COVID-19 research

We are currently working on a number of different studies to understand the biology of COVID-19 and the body’s response, as well as the effects of the pandemic on physical and mental health.

This has only been possible thanks to the incredible commitment and support of our twins. We are very grateful to our twins, who have been taking part in studies throughout the pandemic.


Participant with research nurse at home
A participant on our home visit study watches as a TwinsUK research nurse prepares a swab.

COVID-19 Home Visit Serology Study

In 2020, we visited over 500 twins at home to collect samples and test participants for active traces of the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as antibodies.

We re-visited a proportion of participants throughout 2020 and 2021 in order to collect further swabs and samples so that we can see how the body’s response to COVID-19 changes over time.

COVID-19 Personal Experience Study

The COVID-19 Personal Experience (COPE) is a questionnaire study that aims to understand the physical and mental health implications of the pandemic.

We sent out the first round of this questionnaire during the peak of the epidemic in the UK, and we have asked our twins to complete a second, third and fourth round at three other points throughout the pandemic. We are currently preparing to send out the fifth round of this questionnaire. This fifth round will capture people who may be experiencing Long COVID, as well as vaccination status.

COVID-19 Antibody and Health Study

We combined the second round of the COPE questionnaire with an antibody study. We sent finger-prick blood collection kits to TwinsUK members, to collect a small blood sample at home and return it in the post for antibody testing.

COVID-19 Home Antibody Testing Study

In April 2021, we worked with other population cohorts in the UK to carry out an antibody study. Participants received a finger-prick blood collection kit in the post to complete and return in the post for antibody testing.

We are now preparing to this exercise in November/December 2021 to understand how antibody status changes in the months following infection and/or vaccination.


We are working with collaborators at University College London (UCL) and other population cohorts to carry out a detailed studied of how COVID-19 affects the body. This study will recruit people with a range of COVID-19 experiences. More information about this study is available on UCL’s website here.

COVID-19 Symptom Study App

Health science company Zoe has developed a COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app with input from King’s College London and Massachusetts General Hospital. The app tracks in real time how the disease progresses. The aim of the app is to help slow the outbreak, by helping researchers identify:

  • How fast the virus is spreading in your area
  • High-risk areas in the country
  • Who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions


The app is available for both TwinsUK members and the general public to use. Participants using the app will record information about their health on a daily basis, including temperature, tiredness and symptoms such as coughing, breathing problems or headaches.

Download the app to your Apple or Android device

The app is available to download from the Apple App Store here.

The app is available to download from Google Play here.

CLICK HERE to see a list of questions asked in the App.

Follow our research updates

Our researchers are working round the clock to analyse all the symptom data that’s coming in.

CLICK HERE to find out about our latest findings.


Find answers to frequently asked questions about the app HERE.