Human challenge trial launched in the UK to study COVID-19 reinfection

London [UK], April 19 (ANI): A one-year trial was launched on Monday to study how the immune system reacts in people who contract the coronavirus for the second time.
CNN reported that volunteers in the UK who previously had Covid-19 will be deliberately infected with the virus to find out what it could mean for developing immunity.
The challenge trial will take place under carefully controlled conditions, with treatments available in case volunteers fall ill, the University of Oxford team said.
“Challenge studies tell us things that other studies cannot do because, unlike natural infections, they are tightly controlled. When we reinfect these participants, we will know exactly how their immune systems reacted to the first Covid infection, exactly when the second infection occurs, and exactly how much virus they received, “Dr. Helen McShane, Vaccine Specialist at the University of Oxford said in a statement.
CNN reported that the first phase of the study, starting this month, will find the lowest dose of the virus capable of infecting half of coronavirus survivors without causing symptoms.
So all 64 volunteers will be infected with that dose. Their immune responses will be studied. Participants will initially be monitored 24/7 for two weeks while quarantined in a specially designed hospital suite where they will undergo medical tests, including CT scans of the lungs and MRI scans of the heart.
All volunteers who develop symptoms will be treated with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment and will only be released from quarantine when they do not run the risk of infecting others.
“One of the things we can determine with this study is the duration of that protection. Once we understand exactly the immune response that protects against the second infection, we can then use that information to develop vaccines faster, test vaccines faster, and understand who is protected and who is not from this virus, ”McShane said in an interview. with Radio 4 on Monday as reported by CNN.
McShane said they will recruit young, healthy people – ages 18 to 30 – with the “lowest possible risk of serious consequences from this infection.” (ANI)