Covid Study of Unvaccinated Sample Puts Cutting-Edge Research on The Map

Oak Crest Institute of Science unexpected findings seen as new tool to manage patient care and optimize testing

MONROVIA, Calif., Oct. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Waging the fight against Covid-19 from the front lines, Oak Crest Institute of Science has released groundbreaking findings with major medical and public health implications.

 “We measured the speed at which SARS-CoV-2 reproduces in unvaccinated individuals at various timepoints, between when they first became infected and there was no longer any detectable virus present in their bodies. We also measured changes in their immune response,” CEO Marc M. Baum said.

“Our findings can be used to develop guidelines for the clinical management of COVID-19 patients and optimize testing procedures to determine whether people are infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

Link to full abstract in Communications Medicine:

Oak Crest is a non-profit research institute in Southern California that developed an FDA-approved reaction test to detect the virus on nasal swabs. That led to selecting Oak Crest as an Institutional Review Board-approved clinical study site. All Oak Crest researchers took part.

Nine study participants who developed COVID-19 between November 2020 and March 2021 were monitored for three months. Blood samples were evaluated for viral loads, as well as associated inflammatory biomarker and antibody responses.

The results yielded some unexpected findings:

  • Early viral replication is rapid, with median doubling time of 3.1 hours, providing a narrow window between exposure and viral shedding, (when the virus can be spread through sneezing, coughing or speaking).
  • The clearance phase is slow and heterogeneous.
  • Host immune responses differ widely across participants.

“Results from our small study give a rare insight into the life-cycle of COVID-19 infection, and hold a number of important biological, clinical, and public health implications,” Baum said.

Oak Crest also conducted research on HIV prevention, the delivery and sustained release of anti-HIV drugs, and the development of new drug candidates for the delivery, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Research on HIV prevention and the development of sustained delivery devices to be used for HIV prevention will continue, and new developments are expected.

Oak Crest Institute of Science (Oak Crest) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to facilitate productive, high-quality, fundamental chemistry and environmental science research opportunities for students of all scholastic levels. Oak Crest was established specifically to teach and conduct cutting-edge science research. The institute provides an experience-giving role in education, where students work on authentic, funded research projects and develop a sense of belonging to the STEM community. Since its founding in 1998, Oak Crest has participated in educational programs, taking in groups to experience mentored research and near-peer mentoring. In 2006, the Oak Crest Institute of Science was awarded an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site grant, the first to focus on community college students. Oak Crest gives more than 100 students annually the opportunity to conduct hands-on laboratory experiments. The Institute
also offer tours and workshops to more than 1,000 students, teachers and the general public.

Media Contact:
Paul Webster, Ph.D. Senior Faculty
1-626 817 0883

SOURCE Oak Crest Institute of Science