Test Monkeys infected with COVID-19 were immune against the reinfection for up to 28 days later, a Chinese study from the Science journal said.
About The Study
Scientists typically use Rhesus macaques in studies because their bodies are very similar to the human body.
Initially, the monkeys displayed immunity, but it is uncertain for how long it would last.
Scientists must wait for months or even years until they can make a safe prediction about the evolution of the situation for the people who were infected at the start of the pandemic.
The experiment analyzed six rhesus macaques that were infected in their trachea with a dose of SARS-CoV-2.
They manifested milt to moderate symptoms and required about two weeks to recover.
After four weeks, two-thirds of the monkeys were administered another dose of the virus, but, apart from a rise in temperature, they haven’t manifested other signs of reinfection. The study published by scientists from the Peking Union Medical College says.
Upon closer analysis, scientists observed that the peak viral load was reached three days after the monkeys’ infection.
The study concluded that the monkeys manifested a more robust immune response after the first infection and produced more neutralizing antibodies, which likely protected them against short-term reinfection, the scientists stated.
However, the scientists also claimed that further experimentation is required for validation of the theories.
The study is critical and relevant for the current situation as it provides precious insight into the response of the immune system to the novel coronavirus.
Tests on monkeys are among the first steps towards finding a cure. However, though they are very similar, the human body and a monkey’s body have some key differences, which might ultimately affect the virus’s evolution. Therefore, the scientists who conducted the study claim that further testing is required.