The collaboration between the labs of Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci., and Shane Crotty, PhD, at La Jolla Institute for Immunology offers some valuable information to fill a massive knowledge gap relating to COVID-19 infection amounting to some good news for vaccine developers. The San Diego-based research scientists provide the first cellular immunology data that can help guide social distancing recommendations as well. The findings were published in an online edition of Cell.
TrialSite News summarizes this important news out of San Diego, California.
What is a primary challenge facing researchers?
Until a vaccine for SARs-CoV-2 is developed, researchers need to understand whether the human immune system can mount a substantial and lasting response to the SARS-CoV-2 and whether exposure to circulating common cold coronaviruses offer any kind of protective immunity.
Does the human immune system recognize SARS-CoV-2?
Yes. The team found that in fact, there was a robust antiviral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in a group of 20 adults who had recovered from COVID-19. The body’s immune system is able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 in many ways, dispelling fears that the virus may elude ongoing efforts to create an effective vaccine.
How can the scientists be sure this is true?
According to Sette, they saw multiple responses in the form of “a very robust T cell response against the spike protein, which is the target of most ongoing COVID-19 efforts, as well as other viral proteins. These findings are really good news for vaccine development.”
Why is this relevant for vaccine development?
According to Professor Crotty, “All efforts to predict the best vaccine candidates and fine-tune pandemic control measures hinge on understanding the immune response to the virus” reports the professor in the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research. He emphasized that there was great fear that COVID-19 “doesn’t induce immunity, and reports about people getting re-infected reinforced these concerns, but knowing now that the average person makes a solid immune response should largely put those concerns to rest.”
· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
· Jonathan and Mary Tu Foundation
· La Jolla Institute for Immunology Funds
La Jolla Institute for Immunology
A non-profit research organization, La Jolla Institute for Immunology is based in UC San Diego’s Research Park in San Diego, one of the nation’s leading early stage biotech research industry clusters. The Institute researches immunology and immune system diseases. Founded in 1988, it is a collaborative research organization that has forged many partnerships within the research community in San Diego and across the United States and abroad. The biomedical research facility covers 145,000 square feet inclusive of specialized research rooms suited for all aspects of molecular and cellular biology.
Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci.
Shane Crotty, PhD
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