Melbourne researchers have made a breakthrough in the search for a coronavirus vaccine. Image by AP PHOTO

Health

Vic researchers in virus vax breakthrough

2020-03-18 08:30:22

The immune responses from one of Australia’s first coronavirus patients has been mapped, which could lead to a vaccine.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection tested at four different points in time blood samples of an otherwise healthy woman in her mid-40s who required hospital admission.

The findings have been published on Tuesday in Nature Medicine.

Research fellow Oanh Nguyen says it is the first time broad immune responses to COVID-19 have been reported.

“Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in three days, which is what happened,” Dr Nguyen said.

By dissecting the immune response, the researchers might now be able to find an effective vaccine.