Research Project: Host-microbe Interactions in a Novel SARS-CoV-2 Human Challenge Model
COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award
gene expression transcription
As of June 2023, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been responsible for more than 700 million infections and nearly seven million deaths globally. The collection of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live on and inside the human body, known as the microbiome, are known to play a critical role in the development and function of the immune system and in protection against severe infections caused by respiratory viruses. We will evaluate the upper respiratory microbiome and immune responses of 34 healthy volunteers intentionally inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 in a human challenge study. This will provide an unprecedented opportunity to identify microbiome and immune factors associated with resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection or the absence of symptoms among those who acquire the virus. These analyses will identify microbiome features and immune system pathways that could be used to develop new vaccines, medications or microbiome therapies to prevent or treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.