Health desk -20 April 2021: Healthy young people who have had Covid-19 are being asked to volunteer for a trial that will deliberately expose them to the pandemic virus.
The experts behind the study, beginning this month, want to see how the immune system copes second time round.
The ultimate aim is to design better treatments and vaccines.
Up to 64 people aged 18-30 will spend 17 days in a quarantine unit at a hospital suite and have numerous tests, including lung scans.
They will be re-exposed to the virus, the original strain from Wuhan, China, in a “safe and controlled environment” while the medical team monitors their health.
The first phase of this study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, will aim to establish the lowest dose of virus that can take hold and start replicating but produce few or no symptoms.
This dose will then be used to infect participants in the second phase of the study, expected to start in the summer.
Volunteers who develop symptoms will be given an antibody treatment to help them fight off the infection.