Left Menu
Development News Edition

Australian researchers map immune response to coronavirus

Reuters | Melbourne | Updated: 17-03-2020 12:06 IST | Created: 17-03-2020 11:50 IST
Australian researchers map immune response to coronavirus
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Australian researchers said on Tuesday they have mapped the immune responses from one of the country's first coronavirus patients, findings the health minister said were an important step in developing a vaccine and treatment. The coronavirus has infected more than 168,000 people worldwide and killed at least 6,610, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

While the bulk of those infected experience only mild symptoms, it is severe or critical in 20% of patients. The virus mortality rate is about 3.4%, the WHO has estimated. As scientists scramble to develop a vaccine, researchers at Australia's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity said they had taken an important step in understanding the virus.

By examining the blood results from an unidentified woman in her 40s, they discovered that people's immune systems respond to coronavirus in the same way it typically fights flu. The findings help scientists understand why some patients recover while others develop more serious respiratory problems, the researchers said.

"People can use our methods to understand the immune responses in larger COVID-19 cohorts, and also understand what's lacking in those who have fatal outcomes," said Katherine Kedzierska, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne, which took part in the research. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus. As researchers monitored the Australian patient's immune response, they were able to accurately predict when she would recover.

Researchers did not name the patient but said she was an Australian citizen who was evacuated out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Health Minister Greg Hunt described the development as "world-leading" and a major development in research on the disease.

"It's about fast-tracking a vaccine by identifying which candidates are most likely to be successful," Hunt told reporters. "It's also about fast-tracking potential therapies and treatments for patients who already have coronavirus." At least a dozen drugmakers around the world are working on vaccines or antiviral and other treatments for the fast-spreading contagion.

But investment costs for vaccines could run as high as $800 million in a process that, even if accelerated, will likely take more than a year until approval, according to executives from companies involved in the effort.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Renewables in focus to revive energy sector as economies ease lockdowns

A sudden slump in energy consumption due to worldwide lockdown caused by the COVID-19 had threatened the energy transition due to a plunge in oil prices. However, as predicted by COE-EDP clean energy and inward-looking policies are the focu...

Socio-economic Impact of Covid-19 on Women

Today, women and girls are facing a double whammy - their sources of income have dried up but the workload has increased. There is a great need for gender-sensitive policies to recover from the pandemic. ...

Tracking Cybersecurity: Laying the groundwork for tougher regulations post-COVID 19

The changes indicate that the tech industry is moving towards a paradigm shift over how it operates and, more importantly, how it is regulated....

Tax dodging in rich and poor countries alike, wealthy taxpayers often outwit the taxman

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Sacy, mch perfect at Twitch Rivals: Valorant Launch - Brazil

Team Sacy and Team mch each went 3-0 to win their groups on Saturday as the 20,000 Twitch Rivals Valorant Launch Showdown - Brazil kicked off. Sacy handled Team Zigueira, Team paulanobre and Team Sev7n to win Group A, while mch dispatched T...

Andhra Pradesh govt to run trial 'darsanams' in temples on June 8, 9

Andhra Pradesh government has released a detailed guideline for reopening of religious places from June 10 after 2-day trail on June 8 and 9 in the state, Endowments Commissioner Arjuna Rao said on Saturday. Darsanams in all temples in Andh...

Situation under control, 17 fire appliances on field: BMC after complaints of suspected gas leak

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC on Sunday midnight said that the situation is under control adding that 17 fire appliances are on field equipped with public announcement system and ready for a response if required, after receiving co...

WRAPUP 7-'We can't take much more': Protests swell in Washington and other cities

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington and other U.S. cities on Saturday to demand an end to racism and brutality by U.S. law enforcement as protests over the killing of a black man by Minneapolis police entered a 12th day...

Give Feedback