COVID-19 Resistance

The COVID-19 resistance study also known as DIRECTS (Detecting Innate Protection against SARS-CoV-2) is a research study to understand why some people are naturally resistant to developing COVID-19.

We are conducting two studies to help us understand this resistance – DIRECTS-1 with St James's Hospital healthcare workers and their household members, and DIRECTS-2 with members of the public. If you’re interested in this study or would like more information, please get in touch!





*these are the people we are looking for

(the three main outcomes of viral exposure)

resistant → exposed to the virus but not infected.

asymptomatic → infected but displaying no signs of COVID-19.

symptomatic → infected and displaying typical signs of COVID-19.

*and we need you to get in touch to find them

St James's Workers and
their Household Members
Everyone Else

Our study is open to everyone! If you're a member of the public, join here:



(Detecting Innate Resistance against SARS-CoV-2)

DIRECTS is a research study aiming to understand why some people are naturally resistant to getting COVID-19 infection. Identifying who is resistant and how they are resistant could have a major impact on public health measures, vaccine development and basic understanding of viral infections. There are two components to DIRECTS:

DIRECTS-1 is focused on St James's Hospital healthcare workers (HCWs) and their close household contacts.

DIRECTS-2 seeks volunteers from the general public who did not contract COVID-19 despite being close household contacts of individuals previously positive for COVID-19. If you don't think you're eligible to participate in DIRECTS-1, fill out the DIRECTS-2 questionnaire.

Led by Experts

The TCD/SJH team tackling this project has extensive globally recognised research experience into:

  • Immune responsiveness to viral infection.

  • Together with their international collaborators, access to some of the most sophisticated technologies and research facilities in the world

  • Significant experience in the care of patients and healthcare workers with COVID-19 infection.

If you’re interested in this study or would like more information, please get in touch with us! Study information is listed below. If you have further questions please see our FAQ section or feel free to contact us.


What is DIRECTS?
Why are we undertaking this study?
Who is classified as a household contact of a previously COVID-19 infected individual
What's involved?
How do I register for the study?
After the online questionnaire is completed, how will I be contacted?
Where and when will the blood/saliva testing take place?
Will study participants be given results of their test?
I have had the COVID-19 vaccine. Can I still take part in the study?
How will my data be protected?
Where can I find out more?

This is a unique opportunity to take part in a study which we hope will help us to achieve a greater understanding of COVID-19.

We hope you will take the time to participate. Thank you in advance for your support.


Prof. Cliona O'Farrelly

Principal Investigator

Prof. Cliona Ni Cheallaigh

Infectious Diseases Consultant Physician

Prof. Colm Bergin

Infectious Diseases Consultant Physician

Dr. Niall Conlon

Consultant Immunologist

Dr. Nollaig Bourke

Medical Gerontology Assistant Professor

Dr. Jonathan McGrath

Infectious Diseases Specialist Registrar

Dr. Liam Townsend

Infectious Diseases Specialist Registrar

Mr. Jamie Sugrue

PhD Student

Ms. Reshma Ann Koshy

Research Assistant

Ms. Margaret Needham

Project Manager

COVID Human Genetic Effort

An international consortium to find the genetic basis of coronavirus infection