three monkeys in a group with a fence
Rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis. The rhesus macaque could be an invaluable model for studying COVID-19 disease, including the effects of age, as well as testing new vaccines and treatments. (CNPRC photo)

UC Davis Researchers Race to Develop Coronavirus Solutions

Goal Is to Develop New Reagents, Tests, Vaccines and Treatments

By Andy Fell on March 19, 2020

"Clinical pathologists, infectious disease physicians and scientists at the UC Davis Medical Center, School of MedicineCalifornia National Primate Research Center and Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases are collaborating on new reagents, diagnostic tests and a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Their goal is to unravel the biology and infectious pathology of this new virus, and to develop means for prevention and ultimately treatment. 

The team began by isolating, characterizing and culturing coronavirus from a patient treated at UC Davis, the first community-acquired case in the U.S., with the goal of making diagnostic tests in-house. These tests will make use of UC Davis’ existing infrastructure for high-capacity clinical laboratory testing. Widespread testing is crucial to unravel the true prevalence, lethality and contagiousness of COVID-19. Genetic differences between the UC Davis coronavirus isolate and those from other countries or parts of the U.S. may give clues about how the virus has spread. 

Culturing the virus in the laboratory will allow researchers to investigate the basic biology of coronavirus — how it attacks and invades cells, and what treatments might work against it. 

The UC Davis researchers were able to quickly launch their coronavirus research program because of the existing strong relationships between the School of Medicine, the CIID and the primate center, where researchers study HIV/AIDS, Zika and other infectious diseases." 

Read the full story at UC Davis News

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