It sounds absurd to intentionally become infected with Corona. Now the first findings of a British study with just such an arrangement in volunteer subjects are available.
London – Almost a year ago, the announcement caused a sensation: Healthy volunteers should be specifically infected with Corona* for science. The Imperial College in London is now presenting the first results of the so-called Human Challenge Study. Even if this is hotly debated among medical ethicists, the British study is special: for the first time, people were monitored throughout the course of the infection with Covid-19. The scientists could observe the incubation period and symptoms closely.
The first findings of the study were published on the preprint server by Springer Nature published and not yet published by experts. The study was also conducted with a Sars-CoV-2 strain before the alpha, delta and omicron variants appeared. However, the authors see potential for quick insights into other variants, the course of infection and disease, and the adaptation of vaccines.
Human Challenge study on Covid-19: First findings of the British study
- According to the research team, a single nasal droplet is sufficient to become infected with Covid-19.
- According to the study, the incubation period of the corona virus is shorter than assumed.
- Typically, subjects developed symptoms two days after exposure to the virus.
- The viral load was highest five days after infection.
Corona infection: A single nasal droplet is enough
A single nasal droplet was enough to become infected with Covid-19, the British study finds. According to the scientists, the incubation period after a corona infection is also shorter than previously assumed. On average, infected people develop symptoms within two days of exposure to the virus — and are most contagious five days after infection.
Video: The Corona variants
Corona detectable a little earlier in the throat (saliva).
The study also found that infection first occurs in the throat and that the infectious virus peaks about five days after infection. At this point, the nose has a much higher viral load than the throat. Another finding of the researchers: so-called lateral flow tests (LFTs) are “a reassuringly reliable indicator of whether an infectious virus is present”.
“Scientifically, this study offers a real advantage as the timing of contagion is always known precisely, therefore things like the interval between exposure and the profile of the virus dispatch can be accurately described,” said Prof Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Medical Advisor the British government on Wednesday. “This important study has provided additional key data on Covid-19 and its spread, which is invaluable for learning more about this novel virus so we can fine-tune our response.”
- the Pre-Print Study was from Springer Nature published on February 2, 2022 and is subject to peer review.
- A research team led by Prof. Christopher Chiu from Imperial College London was responsible for the human challenge study entitled “Safety, tolerability and viral kinetics during SARSCoV-2 human challenge”.
- 36 subjects between the ages of 18 and 29 without immunity to the virus took part in the study.
- The volunteers were being monitored in a specialist unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London and had no serious symptoms.
However, the so-called human challenge studies are extremely controversial among medical ethicists. The British study is considered the first in the world to do research in this way in connection with Covid-19. Human challenge trials, in which healthy people are exposed to a pathogen, have been used in the past, for example in the development of flu and malaria vaccines. However, unlike in the British study, the test subjects were first administered a potential active substance. (ml/dpa) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
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