Human challenge studies are a type of research study in which participants are intentionally exposed to a pathogen. These study designs have a long and complicated history, figuring in notorious cases of research abuse (Willowbrook, Guatemala STI experiments) but also as important components in treatment advances for conditions that tend to disproportionately impact the world’s worst-off, such as dengue and malaria. The potential for human challenge studies to be leveraged ethically in relation to Sars-CoV-2 has been a matter of recent and significant debate in the bioethics community.
Released on: March 2022
Developed by: MRCT Center Bioethics Collaborative
See Meeting Summary : Ethical Complexities with Human Challenge Trials Meeting Summary