Researchers infect volunteers with influenza for study

National
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Researchers need volunteers for a clinical trial in which healthy adults will be infected with the influenza virus.

The influenza human challenge study is recruiting volunteers at four Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units which are located in Baltimore, Cincinnati, North Carolina, and Saint Louis.

One study takes a look at how pre-existing influenza antibodies determine the impact following exposure to the influenze virus.

The first doses of challenge virus were administered to five volunteers earlier this week. Up to 80 people aged 18 to 50 years will be enrolled in the trial.

“These trials provide a powerful tool to study many aspects of influenza disease progression and also can help to efficiently assess new treatments and vaccine candidates,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The challenge virus, InfluenzaA/Bethesda/MM2/H1N1, was developed by NIAID scientists and reliably produces mild to moderate influenza disease in most recipients.

It has been administered to about 400 participants in four previous influenza challenge trials conducted at the National Institutes of Health.

No significant safety issues or severe or complicated cases of influenza occurred, and no transmission of the virus outside of the clinic was seen during the earlier trials.

In the current trial, volunteers will remain in the clinic for at least seven full days after being challenged with the virus.

All volunteers will be followed for about 90 days after the challenge virus for blood work and nasal wash samples taken at several follow-up clinic visits.

Preliminary trial results are expected in May 2020.

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