The team at Oxford has been actively involved in measuring the immune response to COVID-19, since the pandemic first began in the UK in March. Hundreds of our Health Care Workers were infected whilst caring for patients, and several hundred patients were admitted to our hospitals-each kindly donating blood that we can use to assess the immune response to the virus.
Our contribution to CIC-UK will be a comprehensive assessment of T cell responses during the early stages of infection and the tracking of this over time so that we can assess the durability of the response. We will characterise this response in detail in mild and severe disease using state-of the-art techniques. A leading vaccine is being developed at Oxford so that we can compare the immune responses seen in natural infection with that seen after vaccination.
We will also evaluate if a T cell response generated after SARS-CoV-2, or after infection with common cold viruses can protect us from COVID19 in both adults and children.
At Oxford, we have assessed a range of assays that measure different aspects of the immune response to the virus, that will be made available to the whole CIC-UK consortium.