Researchers around the world have intensively investigated the biological mechanisms of COVID-19, resulting in a tsunami of data on a daily basis. Relying on a transdisciplinary collaborative effort, the CIAO project aims to make sense of all the scientific knowledge on COVID-19 by using the Adverse Outcome Pathway.                 

An AOP depicts how the disease develops from a Molecular Initiating Event (contact with SARS-CoV-2) over series of biological Key Events (KE) in cells, tissues, organs toward an Adverse Outcome (AO) such as respiratory failure, multiorgan failure or anosmia.

Molecular Interaction

AOPs are living documents, they can be continuously updated. AOPs covering a wide variety of adverse outcomes have already been developed and you can find them in the open access

Thus, AOPs provide a platform for organizing and consolidating the abundant and fast evolving scientific knowledge on COVID-19 at different biological levels. In addition, it permits to leverage knowledge gained from other fields of research, such as toxicology, to describing the viral disease based on a mechanistic understanding.

Such organization of the knowledge also helps to capture the various modulating factors influencing the clinical outcomes.

Finally, the development of AOP networks highlights shared KEs. This is particularly interesting for COVID-19 as shared KEs may identify central biological mechanisms involved in multiple adverse outcomes.

COVID-19 AOP network

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The CIAO network

Building an AOP network modelling COVID-19 pathogenesis relies on interdisciplinary collaborative effort, synergizing exchange between experts from different fields to translate complex biology into messages understandable across disciplines.

Currently, more than 60 coming from 40  organisations are part of the CIAO project - JOIN US