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Study Overview

You may have read in the news that people are exhibiting different responses to COVID-19. This project, which is a partnership between the California Teachers Study & The Microsetta Initiative, aims to help understand why. 

How to Participate

Recruitment for this study is now closed.

Participation is limited by invitation-only to participants living in specific Southern California counties.

Scientific Significance
Some researchers hypothesize that the microbiome—all of the microbes that live on and in the human body, including other viruses and bacteria—may play a role in these differences. By collecting samples and survey data from participants who may or may not have been exposed to COVID-19, this project is trying to better understand if and how our microbiome may play a role in those varied responses.  


Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started & Registering for the Microsetta website

I received my kit. How do I register on the Microsetta website? 

To create your account on the Microsetta website, please click here. You'll be prompted to create an account using your email address and the password of your choice. 

Once you have provided your email address and password, you'll be sent an authentication email. Click on the link you receive in the email to finalize your account creation.

What should I use for my password?
The password is your choice, but must be at least 8 characters long. Some kits may have a password printed on the registration card.  Please do not use that as your password. It is for an old website that is no longer online. 

Where do I find my KitID?

The KitID is located on kit registration card that is found in the slot for Step 2 in your kit.



If you are unable to locate your kit ID or your registration card, please email and provide one of the barcode numbers found on your collection materials, such as the number found on the sticky label on the silver specimen bag for blood sampling (the barcode number would start with leading zeros).

Collecting Your Biospecimens

I did not get enough blood on the swabs.  What can I do?
If at least one swab was saturated with blood: Proceed with sending your sample back to us; we will still be able to utilize it for analysis.

If neither swab was saturated with blood and your lancet is used: Contact us at, stating that you need a new lancet and provide your mailing address.

How do I use the two tubes provided in the kit? Which is my saliva swab?
Each tube provided in your kit is meant to be used for taking either a fecal and saliva sample (i.e. one sample type per tube).  For the fecal sample, you will take the swabs, collect a sample, and place the swabs in the tube.  For the saliva sample, you will spit inside the tube.  Check the instruction brochure for detailed steps.

Why is there an extra set of swabs?
Please only use one set of swabs to take your fecal sample.  The additional set was a packaging error and does not need to be used.

How do I take 2mL of saliva?
As the tubes do not currently have a mark for 2mL, please estimate this by filling up the tube about less than halfway with your saliva.

I took a different sample type than what was requested.
If only one of your samples was the incorrect sample type, please proceed with sending them back.  While we may not process your sample immediately, there will be follow-ups as part of the project, so we will collect additional samples at a later point in time.

Returning Your Kit

How do I return my completed kit? 

If your Microsetta kit did not contain a shipping label: Please visit this website and provide the requested information to schedule your kit pick-up: FedEx will handle providing the proper labels when picking up your kit.

If your Microsetta kit did contain a shipping label: Please schedule a FedEx pickup by calling 1-800-463-3339, or drop off your box with a FedEx center.

Additional Questions?

For general questions, including questions about how to collect any of the samples once you receive your kit in the mail, please contact

For questions about kit pick-up, please contact

For questions about project eligibility, please click here to fill out our Contact Us form.


PLEASE NOTE: If your registration card contains a “Password”, as displayed in the image, please disregard it. This password is not relevant to  California Teachers Study participants.

Getting Stared
Collecting Biospecimens
Returning Your Kit
Additional Questions
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