Recovered coronavirus patients in Queensland could be key to saving new patients

May 14, 2020

By SBS Australia

Just 50 Queenslanders could be the key to understanding how patients diagnosed with COVID-19 fight off the deadly virus.

Of the 1,052 people in Queensland who have tested positive, six have died and just 19 are yet to recover.


researchers are calling for expressions of interest from recovered patients cleared by QLD Health to end self-quarantine to take part in a new COVID-19 Immunity study.

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Now, Queensland researchers hope blood samples from those who are back on their feet could unlock a way to fight the illness.

Identifying how their immune systems responded would help scientists get a step closer to a T cell immunotherapy, Dr Corey Smith, head of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute's Translational and Human Immunology Group says.

"T cells - which are a type of immune or white blood cell - play a critical role in fighting diseases and infection," Dr Smith said.

"We believe it's likely that in patients who are getting less sick from COVID-19, it's because their T cells are responding well and fighting this virus.

"But we need to test that theory in the laboratory and that's why we need blood samples from recovered patients.

"We will grow their T cells in the lab and screen them against the virus to see if they fight it."

Once scientists understand how patients fought off the virus, they hope to develop immunotherapies against it.



Blood samples from recovered coronavirus patients could be the key to helping future patients recover.

Coronavirus vaccine breakthrough as Queensland scientists raise high levels of antibodies in testing


"The aim would be to take T cells from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and turbocharge those T cells in the laboratory to recognise and attack the virus," Dr Smith said.

"We hope this approach could save the lives of the sickest patients."

Dr Smith said the researchers were hopeful immunotherapy could be developed in six to eight months.

The post about “Recovered coronavirus patients in Queensland could be key to saving new patients" appeared first on the SBS Australia website.


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