+ 3000 elderly people

will be subject to research


researchers, pharmacists, doctors and nurses

2 years old

of research

The biggest

comprehensive research project on the impact of COVID-19 on elderly residents in Europe

Branyas Research Project

Multidisciplinary research on the impact of Covid19 on the elderly

The Branyas Research Project was born from the union between a community pharmacy in Vilasar de Dalt in Barcelona, the largest of its kind in Spain in pharmacological management for care homes, and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the State Agency for scientific research and technological development attached to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The Institutes of the CSIC that will participate in this project are the Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology, the Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography and the Food Science Research Institute. The Department of Pharmacology has also recently joined the research project, Therapeutics and Toxicology of Autonomous University of Barcelona.

We are determined also to win the battle against COVID-19 through research and to try to discover why the virus has had a higher prevalence in care homes, with the tragic loss of so many thousands of elderly people.

To this end we aim to engage in comprehensive research, from a clinical and pharmacological point of view, into the effect of COVID-19 in our care homes affected by the virus though one of the largest research projects, in the whole of Europe, in terms of its characteristics..

By applying a multidisciplinary approach involving socio-demographic, biological, immunological and intestinal microbiota studies of persons who have already been infected and others from the same group who have not been exposed, we aim to establish correlations that indicate a special risk of future infection of unexposed individuals..


The focus of the research will include::

Investigating into the correlation between certain pre-existing diseases, genetic variants and the impact of the virus on elderly people, making it possible to determine individualised risk profiles and making it easier to establish more effective protection measures adapted to individual risk profiles.

We will study and try to characterise:

  • The level of infection in each care home.
  • Contact patterns within the care home.
  • The make-up of the resident population according to characteristics that affect the individual viral load.
  • Patterns of virus evolution in populations under lockdown (% infection over total population, onset, peak, and plateau).
  • Which pharmacological treatments prior and during the pandemic were the most effective.
  • The degree of immunity acquired by the resident population, - using a seroprevalence study..
  • Follow-up of immune cases in terms of strength and extent of immunity (contrasted with more specific serological samples).
  • Variables and bio-markers related to the composition and functionality of the intestinal microbiota, innate immunity, and specific humoral and cellular immunity.
  • The correlation between clinical variables and the results of the characterisation of immunity and microbiome, together with the data from the socio-demographic study , in order to evaluate further consequences of the virus on the elderly residents concerned , and to determine individualised risk profiles vs. degree of COVID-19 involvement, as well as population risk levels for future infection.

This research will help to better protect our older people against possible new outbreaks of COVID-19 or similar infectious diseases, improve the management of care homes by establishing individual risk profiles, and optimise personal and health care.

Help us research to avoid history repeating itself

About us

The Branyas Research Project is a joint initiative
by the Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) , Farmacia de Dalt and to which the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Maria Branyas


Maria Branyas, the oldest living woman in Spain, aged 113 years old, has recovered from the coronavirus.

News items on the impact of COVID-19


29.607 deaths from the pandemic in residences

The impact of the coronavirus on nursing homes: 29.607 deaths since the start of the pandemic


COVID-19 in care homes in Europe

Snapshot of the coronavirus in care homes: more than 19.500 19,500 deaths from Covid-19 or compatible symptoms.


COVID-19 among elderly residents in Spain

The WHO estimates 55.000 deaths in care homes in Europe.


Deaths in care homes vs. total deaths in each region

Updated: 14 July 2020

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