Volunteers will be infected with COVID-19 in an unprecedented study | Digital Trends Spanish
An unprecedented study by the United Kingdom government will infect about a hundred healthy volunteers with COVID-19, with the aim of analyzing in detail the behavior and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The trial, called Human Challenge, will expose to the virus, in a safe and controlled environment, 90 people between 18 and 30 years old and who do not have previous pathologies of another nature.
The study aims to establish the smallest amount of virus necessary to cause an infection. In addition, it seeks to probe the body’s immune response and explore how the virus is transmitted between people.
The investigation, promoted by the governmental Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), already has the approval of the clinical trial ethics body.
According to the BEIS, participants will be monitored by doctors and scientists 24 hours after their exposure to the virus.
The agency assured that the variant of the virus that circulated in the United Kingdom in 2020 will be used, instead of those that have emerged recently.
The age group between 18 and 30 years is considered the segment with the lowest risk of complications derived from the coronavirus, which is why the study has focused on this group.
Accelerate vaccine development
After the initial study, candidate vaccines that have been shown to be safe in clinical trials could be administered to a small number of volunteers, with the goal of identifying which ones are the most effective and accelerating their development.
“We want to find the best and most effective vaccines for long-term use. These human challenge studies will be carried out in the UK and will help accelerate scientists’ understanding of how the coronavirus affects people and could eventually promote rapid vaccine development, ”said the British Secretary for Business, Kwasi Kwarteng.
Although the Human Challenge tests are not new, as they have been used for other diseases, this is the first time they have been carried out with COVID-19.