4 COVID-19 research priorities

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has released a plan for accelerating COVID-19 research, which includes four priorities.

Those priorities are:

1. Improving fundamental knowledge about the new coronavirus and COVID-19, including studies to characterize the virus and better understand how it causes infection and disease. This includes natural history, transmission and surveillance studies.

2. Developing rapid, accurate diagnostics and assays to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases and track the spread of the virus. This includes improving molecular assays and developing new and improved serologic assays.

3. Identifying and testing potential treatments for COVID-19. This includes testing novel broad-spectrum antivirals; virus-targeted, antibody-based therapies and monoclonal antibodies.

4. Developing safe and effective vaccines to protect from infection and prevent new outbreaks of the novel coronavirus. This includes adapting vaccine candidates and approaches previously used to address the coronavirus that caused the Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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