Fr

Studying antibodies may shed light on long term immunity of a population

New research at U of A examines antibody concentrations of resolved COVID-19 infections.
By: Heather Marie Connors
July 04, 2020
Photo: Getty Images

With support from the federal government’s Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, Steven Drews, a microbiologist at the University of Alberta, is leading a year-long study of immunity in resolved COVID-19 cases. By analyzing leftover blood samples from the Canadian Blood Services, Drews is measuring the presence of antibodies and then testing their effectiveness in preventing the infection of a host cell.

“Once you've been infected, you can't stop that, but having enough pre-existing antibodies could blunt that infection and reduce your chances of having a severe disease or reduce the chance of having the virus, for example, move deeper into your respiratory tract,” says Drews.

Every body’s immunity is unique and complex, and while Drews does not necessarily predict that a therapeutic will be developed from his research, he points to the value in understanding immunity at a larger scale. The insights gained can aid in designing tests, and in estimating the immunity of a population, which is fundamental to forming public health policy.

Source: U of A folio

Related

Montreal researcher developing nanoparticle-based COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Denis Archambault is working to combat COVID-19 with a novel nanovaccine.

University of Saskatchewan researchers developing saliva-based test to detect COVID-19

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research awarded the project team over $550,000 to fund research into the diagnostic test, which they hope will be available by early next year.
2 months ago

University of Alberta researchers studying a drug used on cats that could help treat COVID-19 in humans

Dr. Joanne Lemieux and her team are testing a drug used to treat feline infectious peritonitis, another coronavirus, to see if it can keep COVID-19 from replicating in human cells.