After a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers at Oxford University have recently launched a study to observe the body’s immune response to being reinfected with SARS-CoV-2, the Covid-19 virus. For some, this may sound somewhat dangerous; however, this is a controlled study where researchers are exceedingly careful and meticulously observe every effect.
There are 64 participants taking part in the study ranging from ages 18-30. All of the participants have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and will be carefully reinfected in controlled environments to monitor exact effects and symptoms. The study began in April 2021 when researchers purposely infected 24 of the study’s participants with the lowest possible dose of SARS-CoV-2, and then continually increased this dose to reach the optimal amount for the study. This optimal dose will produce little or no side effects, and, when found, 10 – 40 of the remaining participants will be infected with this optimal dose. The study will take place in a quarantined, specially designed hospital wing where the participants will undergo constant medical tests to observe any change or lack thereof.
The second phase will begin this summer 2021, and the goal will be to observe how the participant’s immune system reacts to being infected with the optimal dose discovered in phase one. The full length of the study will take place over a year, and, after the virus has left the participant’s bodies, there will be a minimum of eight follow-up appointments to observe the aftereffects.
Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology at the Department of Pediatrics is the Chief Investigator on the trial and says:
“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 infection, exactly when the second infection occurs, and exactly how much virus they got. As well as enhancing our basic understanding, this may help us to design tests that can accurately predict whether people are protected.”
Controlled studies like this are fundamental in establishing the safest and most optimal treatment, as well as helping to design the best treatment plan and vaccination methods.
While waiting for a vaccine and for controlled studies such as this Oxford study to determine the safest courses of action, it is key to protect yourself in the best possible way. You can keep yourself safe by leading a healthy lifestyle. You can try out our boosting products to bolster your defense against viral infections with BodyK’s Boost Box Viral Defense. Until we have reached the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is still important to be tested for the virus. BodyK has two Covid-19 tests available: the COVID Antigen Rapid Test with results in 30 minutes, the PCR Test with 45 Minute Results, and the PCR Test with Same Day Results.