We are recruiting research volunteers for a study of the body’s immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Individuals who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection are thought to have developed specific immune responses that protect against future coronavirus infections. However, the immunity that results from SARS-CoV-2 infection is not well understood and may not be uniformly protective. In addition, although studies of immune responses to viruses typically examine cells obtained from peripheral blood, SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus that can enter the body through inhalation of infectious droplets. We are therefore evaluating immune responses of white blood cells and antibodies in the samples obtained from both the blood and lungs of otherwise healthy 18-50 year-old non-smokers who have had confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 and have either recovered from active COVID-19, or never developed COVID-19 symptoms.
Subjects will be asked to provide small-volume blood donations, and will also be considered for research bronchoscopy procedures in which a flexible tube is passed into the lungs to obtain samples of cells within the small airways and alveoli of the lung. The findings from these studies may help clarify which immune responses are required for protection against coronaviruses, and may therefore help guide the development and testing of new vaccines to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other related viruses.