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Confronting Covid-19 by exploring the possibility of vaccinating with live SARS- CoV-2 virus itself, via a route that would reduce the incidence of pulmonary complications

Abstract : With most of the world population with its back stuck to a wall, I propose to explore the somewhat desperate possibility of turning the SARS-CoV-2 virus into an ally. The idea would be to see if the pulmonary complications of Covid-19 can be somewhat avoided by bypassing the airway entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This could possibly be achieved by injecting live SARS-CoV-2 virus either ID, SC, IM or IP, or by targeting the virus to the digestive tract. The effectiveness and innocuity of using those various routes could be tested very rapidly in animal models such as Macaques, Hamsters, Ferrets or Cats. The hope is that these experiments will reveal a route of inoculation that can reliably lead to bona-fide infections, resulting in strong immune responses, with both cellular and serological components, but with much less viral replication in the lungs. This would not only hopefully reduce the incidence of pulmonary complications in the infected subjects, but would also probably reduce the amount of virus coming out of them via aerosols, and thus reduce the vector of contagiosity which is hardest to control, and probably leads most effectively to viral replication in the lungs. If those experiments in animal models revealed that one or several routes can be used effectively to reduce pulmonary pathology, a clinical trial in human volunteers could be envisaged, with volunteers having profiles with very low risk of complications, i.e. aged below 40 and no pre-existing medical condition. The ID route should probably be considered in priority, since it could double-up as a skin test, to reveal the immune status of the recipients towards the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The course of action proposed here may possibly provide a way of taking a step ahead of the virus, and if it worked as hoped, could help seeing the end of the need for confinement within a matter of months, if not weeks.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 11:33:56 AM
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Etienne Joly. Confronting Covid-19 by exploring the possibility of vaccinating with live SARS- CoV-2 virus itself, via a route that would reduce the incidence of pulmonary complications. F1000Research, Faculty of 1000, In press, 9, pp.309. ⟨10.12688/f1000research.23480.1⟩. ⟨hal-02546391v2⟩

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