British scientists on the 19th launched a new “human challenge test”, will deliberately let the subjects infected with the Coronavirus re-exposure to the virus, to observe the immune response and whether there will be re-infection.
Helen McShane, a vaccine scientist at the University of Oxford and lead researcher on the challenge trial, said the information provided by the trial “allows us to develop better vaccines and treatments and to understand whether and for how long a person is protected after contracting a new coronavirus.”
McShane believes the trial will also help to understand what kind of immune response can prevent re-infection.
The first phase of the trial will determine the minimum amount of virus needed to allow the virus to begin to replicate in about 50 percent of volunteers and cause mild symptoms or even asymptomatic symptoms. The second phase of the trial, launched in the summer, will infect different volunteers with a standard amount of the virus.
A total of 64 volunteers, aged between 18 and 30, were in good health and infected with the new coronavirus at least three months ago. The researchers re-infected the volunteers with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and then isolated them for at least 17 days and observed them. In the event of symptoms, the volunteers will be treated with monoclonal antibodies.
The UK became the first country in the world to approve a Coronavirus, the Human Challenge Trial, in February. Volunteers were exposed to the new coronavirus to conduct a study on the pathogenicity of the new coronavirus.
Reuters reported that the study, unlike the trial approved in February, was not an attempt to infect volunteers with the new coronavirus for the first time, but rather to find out more about the body’s immune function by re-infecting volunteers who had previously been infected with Coronavirus.
For decades, scientists have used “human challenge trials” to gain a better understanding of diseases such as measles, influenza, typhoid fever, and cholera, and have developed therapies and vaccines.