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Results from the COVID-19 human challenge study

The first results coming out of the UK human challenge study, looking at what happens during the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a group of healthy young adult volunteers, are being posted in a preprint.

The UK Human Challenge Programme is a partnership between Imperial College London, the Vaccine Taskforce, DHSC, hVIVO (part of Open Orphan plc.), and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.  The study started last year after having been given ethical approval in February 2021, and used the original (Wuhan) variant of the virus.

Journalists dialled into this briefing to ask questions and to hear from the scientists involved in the study discuss aspects such as:

– how many people in the study became infected with the virus?

– how long was the incubation period after exposure?

– what symptoms did these participants develop and were any long-term?

– when did virus levels peak during the infection?

– how long were participants infectious for?

– how well did lateral flow tests pick up infections in this study?

Please note this data is a preprint, so it is early work that has not yet been through peer-review and is not published in a journal.


Speakers will include:

Prof Chris Chiu, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Department of Infectious Disease and the Institute of Infection, Imperial College London, and Chief Investigator on the study

Prof Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London, and co-investigator on the study

Prof Wendy Barclay, Head of Department of Infectious Disease, and Action Medical Research Chair Virology, Imperial College London

Dr Andrew Catchpole, Chief Scientific Officer at hVIVO, part of Open Orphan plc


This briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments

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