COVID-19 Drug Testing in Children with a Rare Disease

Objectives: To identify the risk factors in children with a rare disease and understand the genetic relationship between children with a rare disease and adverse drug reactions given to treat COVID-19. A further goal of this research is to look for side effects of emerging drugs being tried for treatment of COVID-19 in children. 

Children are thought to be mostly protected from COVID-19 complications with two exceptions:

1. Children with any of a large number of rare genetic diseases that weaken the immune system and make them more susceptible to viral infections.

2. An emerging group of children who get a major systemic inflammatory reaction (similar to Kawasaki disease) as a result of having COVID-19.

The Glowing Hearts campaign will support the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety (CPNDS), an existing national surveillance network, to collect DNA and other samples from children found to be in either of these groups.

Personnel at the CPNDS collect clinical data on Adverse Drug Reactions observed in real world clinical settings. This work will help proactively identify children at risk by determining risk factors, treatment strategies and learning of new infection side effects.