According to two studies, monkeys infected with COVID-19 were immune from reinfection, a positive sign for potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development, Reuters reported.
In one of the new studies, researchers infected nine monkeys with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. After they recovered, the team exposed them to the virus again and the animals did not get sick.
In the second study, Barouch and colleagues tested 25 monkeys with six prototype vaccines to see if antibodies produced in response were protective. They then exposed these monkeys and 10 control animals to SARS-CoV-2, the official name of the novel coronavirus. All of the control animals showed high degrees of virus in their noses and lungs, but in the vaccinated animals, “we saw a substantial degree of protection,” Barouch said. Eight of the vaccinated animals were completely protected.
Image credit: NIAID. Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.