An increasingly delicate task because with the multiplication of variants the number of contaminations has exploded.
Some people have escaped since the start of the Covid pandemic. But scientists would like to identify them to study their profile and find a way to fight the virus effectively.
A large study was launched a few months ago to convince of the usefulness of such a database from a scientific point of view.
An international team of researchers published in October 2021 an article in the journal Nature Immunology and launches a call to identify and recruit people who are naturally resistant to Covid.
Difficulty recruiting participants
But it is not easy to find the people who could prove scientifically useful.
Because the profiles that interest researchers are those that have not been contaminated by Covid because they are resistant to Covid.
Some were careful and respected the barrier gestures. Others thought they had escaped the Covid, but in fact they had been contaminated without knowing it and had been asymptomatic.
In addition, with the proliferation of variants and in particular with Omicron which is very contagious, more and more people have caught Covid and can no longer be part of the protocol.
Scientists are therefore looking for the few remaining individuals who may possibly hold the key to ending the pandemic.
The hypotheses considered
Among the hypotheses considered which would prevent certain people from contracting Covid there was the common cold which would protect against Covid infection thanks to cells developed on purpose. But these people less likely to contract the Covid would only be protected for a time.
But the researchers focus instead on another theory: genetic immunity.
“What we’re looking for are potentially very rare genetic variants with a very big impact on the individual,” said András Spaan, a clinical microbiologist and researcher at Rockefeller University in New York, who is leading a search for genetic material. responsible for resistance to coronaviruses, as reported by the Washington Post.
The international study has already managed to recruit 700 participants.
Researchers were able to screen more than 5,000 people who presented as potentially immune to coronavirus infection.
Hope for a cure
Studying the genes and other biological traits of people who have escaped Covid could help determine how the virus develops but also how it actually infects humans.
And so if scientists can determine the causes, it will be easier to design a targeted treatment to fight the virus and prevent it from entering the body and infecting it.
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Covid: looking for people never infected with the virus to study their mysterious resistance
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