Getting Sick for the Sake of Medical Research

April 14, 2021

(Undark) – Bernot was participating in a human challenge trial: a kind of study in which researchers infect participants with a pathogen, often for the purpose of testing a new vaccine or treatment. Over the years, challenge trial volunteers have been bitten by malaria-infected mosquitoes, drunk water contaminated with typhoid-causing bacteria, and inhaled various strains of influenza. They have been given whooping cough, cholera, parasitic worms, and even gonorrhea. Now, after months of debate, Covid-19 has joined that list.