Participate in the 23andMe COVID-19 Study to help scientists search for genetic links to the disease.
Our goal is to understand genetic differences which may explain why symptoms of the illness range from very mild to very severe and help empower the scientific and medical communities to address this public health crisis. At this stage, we are focusing on those with severe symptoms.
You can participate in the study if:
- You are over 18 years old and live in the United States.
- You are willing to provide a saliva sample for DNA testing. Note, this sample will be used for analyzing different parts of your genome. We are not testing for COVID-19 or providing COVID-19 testing through our spit collection kit.
- You are willing to complete an online study survey. We may ask you to complete additional surveys in the coming months.
- You tested positive for COVID-19.
- You were hospitalized due to COVID-19 related symptoms.
What you get
If you decide to participate, not only will you have the opportunity to advance Coronavirus research, you will also be joining our main research program, which currently has 7 million+ research participants and has generated more than 150 peer-reviewed publications. You will also receive access to 150+ personalized genetic reports online from 23andMe about your ancestry, traits and health. Learn more important test information here.
How it works
After you enroll, we will ask you to complete one survey on your experience with COVID-19. Note: completion of the study survey is required to receive your 23andMe results.
Provide a saliva sample
We will mail a DNA saliva collection kit to you with instructions. No swabs, blood tests or trips to a testing site.
We're in this together
In addition to 23andMe’s research, there are many ways to contribute to other COVID-19 efforts across the United States. Here are just a few:The COVID Human Genetic Effort Stanford’s National Daily Health Survey NIAID COVID-19-Recovered Specimen Collection Research Study American Red Cross Plasma Donations
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a 23andMe research study focused on COVID-19. The goal of the study is to understand genetic differences which may explain why symptoms of the illness range from very mild to very severe and help empower the scientific and medical communities to address this public health crisis.
The 23andMe web-based platform enables a large group of individuals with COVID-19 to come together to provide valuable data for research. This de-identified research data includes genetic information (using DNA from saliva) and information about each participant’s unique experiences with the disease (using responses from online surveys). Conducting research using this data may help improve diagnosis and find better treatments.
It means that you will agree to contribute your information for research purposes. There are many aspects to being a research participant. We have summarized the most important ones below. If you have more questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to:
- Respond to a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility to participate. This step is very important to ensure the integrity of the study.
- Enroll and consent through the 23andMe website so you can contribute your genetic data and survey answers to the 23andMe COVID-19 Study.
- Provide a DNA sample (from your saliva) for genetic analysis. We will keep this saliva/DNA stored in our laboratory.
- Complete one online survey about your experience with COVID-19. The survey will include questions about your symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. We will email you to let you know when to take this survey, and may send reminders if you haven’t finished all the available surveys.
By consenting, you agree to let 23andMe store and use your genetic and self-reported information for 23andMe Research. The 23andMe Research program has several aims, described in our Main Research Consent. In addition to being used to understand COVID-19 disease severity, the genetic and self-reported information you provide may be used for other 23andMe Research studies.
If you consent to participate in the COVID-19 Study, we may share your de-identified individual-level data with qualified research collaborators to increase the chance that meaningful scientific discoveries are made related to COVID-19 and other related research topics. The data we share will always be de-identified, meaning it has been stripped of your registration information and other identifying data such that you cannot reasonably be identified as an individual.
During the course of this COVID-19 study we will remind you what you agreed to, and of your consent status. You can opt into and out of 23andMe Research at any time by updating your consent status in your account settings. If you opt out, we will discontinue use of your data within 30 days.
How will 23andMe use my data?
We will use your data to understand genetic differences which may explain why symptoms of the illness range from very mild to very severe and help empower the scientific and medical communities to address this public health crisis.
We will compare your genetic data and your survey answers with the genetic data and survey answers of the other research participants with and without COVID-19. This comparison will allow us to see if certain genetic factors are linked to specific aspects of COVID-19.
If you consent to participate in this study, 23andMe may share your de-identified, individual-level genetic and survey data with qualified research collaborators for COVID-19 and related research. Individual-level data means related to a single person. “De-identified” means that the individual-level data we share about you with researchers will be stripped of components that could directly identify you (such as name, date of birth, and address).
What are the risks of being a research participant?
- Please refer to How do you protect the confidentiality of my data? for more information about this risk.
- If you are not already a 23andMe customer, you may learn information about yourself that you do not anticipate (e.g., that you are not related to a family member in the way you thought, or surprising facts related to your ancestry).
- Please refer to our Terms of Service for more details about the risks of being genotyped.
What are the benefits of being a research participant?
This is a new opportunity to participate in genetics research. As a research participant, you will:
- Take a direct role in research that may benefit you and other individuals who had or may contract COVID-19
- Participate in web-based research from the comfort of your own home
- Be kept informed of the discovery process as research advances
- Have the option to learn more about yourself through genetics
- Enroll, provide consent and answer questions to determine your eligibility through the 23andMe website
- Complete one online survey that typically takes 5-8 minutes
- Provide a saliva sample and send it back in the prepaid postage box provided
For questions regarding your eligibility to join this research initiative, saliva sample, the online survey, or your account with 23andMe, please contact email@example.com.
23andMe provides a new opportunity to participate in genetics research. As a participant, you will:
- Learn about yourself through the 23andMe® Health+Ancestry Service at no cost. You will receive personalized reports on your health, traits and ancestry. Note: completion of the required study survey is required for receipt of your 23andMe results.
- Take a direct role in research that may benefit you and other individuals with COVID-19.
- Participate in web-based research from the comfort of your own home.
- Be kept informed on study progress via email throughout the course of the study.
We believe that this study will enhance research for Coronavirus by:
- Bringing together a large group of people who have COVID-19 to better understand how genes may influence disease severity.
- Expanding geographic reach by enabling participation from home.
- Removing some of the time and cost barriers that can slow progress in other types of studies.
As part of your participation in this research study, you will receive complimentary access to 23andMe® Health+Ancestry Service DNA test kit and related services (PGS). PGS provides you with your unique personal genetic profile, including reports on your health, traits and ancestry. Note, it is your choice which of these reports you choose to view.
We built all of our systems to maximize protections of individual level data and we have a number of safeguards in place to ensure confidentiality. All data in the research computing environment are disconnected from your contact or identifying information and are coded with a unique research ID. All 23andMe research is performed in a secure computing environment with access restricted to research scientists and system administrators. All 23andMe servers are protected by technical, physical, and administrative procedures. Our servers are monitored for unauthorized activity. Your genetic data and sensitive account information such as passwords are encrypted, as are all data transfers between our servers and your computer(s).
If you consent to participate in this study, 23andMe may only share your de-identified, individual-level genetic and survey data, with qualified research collaborators for COVID-19 and related research. Individual-level data means related to a single person. “De-identified” means that the individual-level data we share about you with researchers will be stripped of components that could directly identify you (such as name, date of birth, and address).
23andMe will also have agreements with all research collaborators regarding the security and storage of de-identified, individual-level data that is shared outside 23andMe. Per above, the data we share about you with researchers will be stripped of components that could directly identify you (such as name, date of birth, and address). Note any data sharing will be consistent with the contractual obligations and limitations re: third party use, which will be consistent with what you have agreed to in the consent document.
By participating in the 23andMe COVID-19 Study and choosing to have 23andMe receive, analyze and store your saliva sample, you are consenting to having 23andMe and its contractors access, analyze and store your sample in a manner consistent with our Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, and Biobanking Consent Document available under your account settings.
We use a process called “genotyping” to generate genetic data from each participant’s saliva. Genotyping is a process which determines which genetic variants an individual possesses at specific positions in their genome. We may perform additional analyses, including sequencing, which examines every position in either a portion or all of an individual's genome.
If you agree to participate in the 23andMe COVID-19 Study, your participation includes the use of a 23andMe DNA kit and optional access to the 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service at no cost. As part of registering this 23andMe kit you will be required to agree to the 23andMe Terms of Service.
We want to make sure you understand that while participating in the study activities described below, the following sections of the Terms of Service will not apply to the extent they prevent you from pursuing a claim if you suffer a research-related injury:
- Section 14 (“Indemnity”)
- Section 23 (“Disclaimer of Warranties”), Subsections (1), (3), (4), and (5)
- Section 24 (“Limitation of Liability”)
- Section 28(f) (“Term for cause of action”)
Study activities include:
One online survey
Please note, however, that if you choose to use any of 23andMe's products, software, services, and website, outside of your participation in these study activities, you will be, just like all users of 23andMe’s products, software, services and website, subject to the Terms of Service.
23andMe utilizes a CLIA-certified lab to genotype customers’ DNA samples. These certified labs treat biosafety as their number one priority at all times, and have specific protocols and processes in place to handle biologic samples safely. Specimens are handled with personal protective equipment, and hygienic processes for entering and leaving the laboratory spaces are strictly followed. These measures are in place to ensure the highest degree of safety for both the lab personnel and those outside the lab.
As with all our research, an independent institutional review board (IRB) will oversee the study. The IRB, E&I Review Services, has reviewed and approved the scope of the study, and all study materials.
After completion of the required survey (23andMe COVID-19 survey) you will have the opportunity to take additional surveys related to COVID-19, your health, and other topics designed for all research participants. You'll be notified as these become available via email/in-product experience.