UK government gives “ethical nods” to study the effects of COVID-19 reinfection on the immune system

Up to 64 healthy young adults between the ages of 18 and 30, who were previously ill with COVID-19 and have been completely cured, are now recruited to take part in a new “Human Challenge Trial”, in which it is examined how the body’s own body is examined Immune system reacts to COVID -19 virus.

In particular, researchers at Oxford have received ethical approval for this study, which aims to test the immune response needed to protect people from re-infection.

The study aims to provide a better understanding of the virus and provide more accurate information with new tests. The Oxford-initiated Human Challenge study will re-infect participants who were previously naturally exposed to the virus, but this time in a safe and controlled environment for research purposes. The test subjects will be given £ 5,000 and will be quarantined in a hospital for 17 days.

Ethical nod for a human attempt at challenge?

The test focuses on what type of immune response can prevent people from becoming infected again, and also tries to measure how both the virus and immune system react the second time around.

Helen McShane, professor of vaccination science in the Department of Pediatrics at Oxford University and chief investigator of the study, spoke to local media in the UK about what to expect from the Challenge study and noted that the study will teach researchers things That other studies cannot because, unlike natural infection cases, the reinfection process will take place under tight laboratory conditions and the scientists will know exactly how their immune system responded to the first COVID-19 infection and why the professor said.

Human Challenge Trial

The study is to take place in two phases with different participants in each phase. The lowest virus dose is expected to be determined in the first phase, which will begin at the end of April 2021. About 50 percent of participants who were previously infected naturally can lodge and begin replicating, but remain asymptomatic or produce little to no symptom.

Interestingly, however, the second phase is expected to begin later this year, when all participants will be infected with the standardized dose of the virus that was given in the first phase. Following this, the careful process of data collection and analysis will begin to carefully define the basic immune response in the volunteer subjects.

It is important to note that the virus used in the first study will be the original strain from Wuhan, China.

The test subjects will be quarantined in a specially designed hospital suite for at least 17 days under the close supervision of the research team. They will then undergo numerous medical tests, including CT scans of the lungs, MRI scans, and other paperwork required to perform the test.

The test subjects who were hired on a voluntary basis are only released after they have recovered and there is no longer any risk of infecting others. The entire study period is 12 months, including at least eight follow-up appointments after discharge.

What is a challenge attempt?

The professor explained that, for medical research purposes, a human challenge study is a carefully verified study in which a test person is intentionally infected with a pathogen or beetle in order to study the effects of that infection in order to better understand the infection Be able to develop a workable cure for it.

The professor noted that the virus and its long-term effects on the human body still have many doubts. Studies like this can allow scientists to improve their understanding by collecting high quality data on the immune system and responses.