Researchers in the United Kingdom said on Friday they will launch a year-long study to deliberately infect people who have recovered from COVID-19 to study whether people become infected a second time and to see if there are particular immune responses that protect them.
According to CNN, the so-called challenge trial will be conducted under carefully controlled conditions, with treatments on-hand in case one of the volunteers becomes ill, the team at the University of Oxford said.
"Challenge studies tell us things that other studies cannot because, unlike natural infection, they are tightly controlled. When we re-infect these participants, we will know exactly how their immune system has reacted to the first COVID-19 infection, exactly when the second infection occurs, and exactly how much virus they got," Dr Helen McShane, a vaccine specialist at the University of Oxford who is leading the trial, said in a statement.
CNN reported that the first phase of the study, starting this month, will find the lowest dose of virus that can infect half of the coronavirus survivors without causing symptoms. Then all 64 volunteers will be infected with that dose. Their immune responses will be studied.
Any volunteers who develop symptoms will be treated with Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment and quarantined until they are at no risk of infecting others.
( With inputs from ANI )
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