The Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19)-A cohort to prospectively study the clinical and biological determinants of COVID-19 clinical trajectories

PLoS One. 2021 May 19;16(5):e0245031. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0245031. eCollection 2021.


SARS-CoV-2 infection causing the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been responsible for more than 2.8 million deaths and nearly 125 million infections worldwide as of March 2021. In March 2020, the World Health Organization determined that the COVID-19 outbreak is a global pandemic. The urgency and magnitude of this pandemic demanded immediate action and coordination between local, regional, national, and international actors. In that mission, researchers require access to high-quality biological materials and data from SARS-CoV-2 infected and uninfected patients, covering the spectrum of disease manifestations. The "Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19" (BQC19) is a pan-provincial initiative undertaken in Québec, Canada to enable the collection, storage and sharing of samples and data related to the COVID-19 crisis. As a disease-oriented biobank based on high-quality biosamples and clinical data of hospitalized and non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive and negative individuals. The BQC19 follows a legal and ethical management framework approved by local health authorities. The biosamples include plasma, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and DNA and RNA isolated from whole blood. In addition to the clinical variables, BQC19 will provide in-depth analytical data derived from the biosamples including whole genome and transcriptome sequencing, proteome and metabolome analyses, multiplex measurements of key circulating markers as well as anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses. BQC19 will provide the scientific and medical communities access to data and samples to better understand, manage and ultimately limit, the impact of COVID-19. In this paper we present BQC19, describe the process according to which it is governed and organized, and address opportunities for future research collaborations. BQC19 aims to be a part of a global communal effort addressing the challenges of COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks / organization & administration*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / genetics
  • COVID-19 / metabolism
  • COVID-19 / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Pandemics
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification

Grants and funding

This biobank is financially support by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS), Genome Québec and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The funders initiated the project to support the research community facing the COVID-19 related sanitary emergency.