Two studies have been released that brings some absolutely fantastic news to the development of the coronavirus story. This news could possibly be the best news all year.
It was only a few days ago that South Korea's CDC released a study detailing that patients who re-tested for coronavirus and were positive weren't infectious. Now, two new studies have been released, and the first is from Researchers at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR). This first study took 35 rhesus macaques monkeys and split them into two groups, the first group of 25 monkeys received one of six DNA vaccine candidates, and the rest were given placebo drugs.
After exposing the monkeys to the pathogen, researchers found that eight of the 25 monkeys that were given the vaccine showed no detected levels of the virus. The other monkeys had extremely reduced levels of the virus, and their viral loads were incredibly lower than the monkeys who were given the placebo drug. The findings of this study are that the higher the antibodies equals a lower viral load. The second study looked at how the same species of monkey would battle reinfection from the virus.
Researchers took nine of the monkeys that were exposed to the virus and re-exposed the virus to them again. After monitoring the monkeys' progression, the monkeys showed almost complete protection to the virus. Here's what the authors said, "Little or no clinical disease was observed in the animals following rechallenge". Continued, "SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques induced humoral and cellular immune responses and provided protective efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 rechallenge. These data raise the possibility that immunologic approaches to the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection may, in fact, be possible."
The only downside from these studies is that researchers aren't sure how long this immunity will last for. It could be weeks, months, or maybe years - more research is still needed to be done to conclude the longevity of the immunity found.
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