Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

United Kingdom starts new trial to examine if people get reinfected with coronavirus

Under 30s can get paid £5,000 to be reinfected with coronavirus Oxford Scientists Infect Volunteers With COVID-19 After Recovery for Future Vaccines - Report
Gustavo Carr | 21 April, 2021, 06:22

The first stage of the trial will seek to establish the lowest dose of the coronavirus needed in order for it to start replicating in about 50 per cent of participants, while producing few to no symptoms.

They should be between the ages of 18 to 30 who will be purposely infected with a pathogen or bug to study the effects of that infection.

Chief investigator Prof Helen McShane, from the University of Oxford, said: "Challenge studies tell us things that other studies can not because, unlike natural infection, they are tightly controlled".

The Oxford study will take phase in two phases.

In the United Kingdom, similar research involving 90 people of the same age group is ongoing at the moment, in which volunteers are infected with the coronavirus in order to test vaccines and treatments on them.

Participants will be quarantined for 17 days and cared for by researchers at a hospital until they are no longer at risk of infecting others, and they will receive just under £5,000 as payment. "We will then infect them with the dose of virus chosen from the first study and measure how much virus we can detect after infection".

Once the dosing amount is established, it will be used to infect participants in the second phase of the study, which is expected to start in the summer.

BRITISH scientists on Monday (19) launched a trial which will deliberately expose participants who have already had Covid-19 to the coronavirus again to examine immune responses and see if people get reinfected. However, there is little knowledge about what happens when people who recovered from the infection are infected for the second time.

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Then they will measure the immune response at several time points after being infected to understand the immune response of the body.

Prof Lawrence Young, of Warwick University, said: "Human challenge studies have a long history of being able to generate important information about infections under strictly controlled conditions as well as allow the efficacy of vaccination to be accurately assessed".

"Our new Antivirals Taskforce will seek to develop innovative treatments you can take at home to stop COVID-19 in its tracks", Johnson said.

The research will last for a total of 12 months, with eight follow-up appointments following discharge.

While Covid-19 infections have been rare, recent research suggests prior infection may not fully protect young people against reinfection.

Britain is launching a search for antivirals to treat COVID-19 with the aim of having at least two effective at-home treatments by the end of the year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

Critics of challenge trials have pointed out the ethical dangers of infecting people without being sure of its long-term consequences.

Covid-19 reinfection is rare but more common in ol. "Keeping up the pace of scientific research and development, through crucial studies such as this remain the only way we will truly get ahead of this pandemic and bring it under control", she said.