Medical experiments involving intentionally infecting people with bacteria, viruses, and parasites are surprisingly common. And they are becoming more common worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
The ultimate aim of these “human challenge studies” is usually to test potential new vaccines.
However, because of the risks involved, this kind of research raises difficult ethical questions. For example, who should be infected? And which pathogens would be too dangerous to use?
- India: Side Meeting on the Current Global Regulatory and Ethical Landscape for CHIM studies [meeting summary]
- Zambia: Development of an Ethical and Regulatory Framework for the Conduct of Controlled Human Infection Studies [Expert Consultation Report]
- Melissa Kapulu: Malaria transmission and human infection studies [Interview@University of Oxford]