Immune system – a matter of life and death

Densely populated agrarian lifestyles probably expose humans to more infectious pathogens  than are encountered by any other animals. We survive this by the adoption of public health measures, such as sanitation, and by the scientific development of interventions, such as vaccination, antibiotics, and antivirals.  For those interventions to be optimally deployed, we need to understand the host-pathogen relationship: i.e. what the pathogen does to us, and what we do to the pathogen. 

At the heart of the host-pathogen relationship is the immune system, and it is therefore the goal of Covid-IP to study the status of the immune system in persons who are or who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19 disease.

The status of the immune system is known as its “immunophenotype”, and it may vary greatly across different individuals, giving strong clues as to what our immune systems need to do to protect us from Covid-19, and indicating ways in which it can go wrong, worsening rather than improving the patient’s condition.