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Fundamentals of Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS)



  Aug 26, 2023

Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS):Basics


What are Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS)?

Controlled Human Infection Studies (CHIS) are scientific studies in which healthy human volunteers are deliberately exposed to a specific pathogen or disease-causing agent in a controlled environment. These studies are conducted to better understand the disease, its progression, immune response, and potential treatments or vaccines.
 

Why are activists raising concerns about CHIS?

A group of activists, including an advocate, independent journalist, researcher, and others, have expressed concerns about the recent proposal for CHIS presented by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). They are advocating for a public discussion prior to conducting such studies and ensuring safeguards against any potential negative consequences.
 

What are the main concerns of the activists?

The activists are focusing on several key points. They emphasize the need for transparency and clarity in the guidelines, including disclosing the names of contributors, consulted parties, and reviewers involved in shaping the CHIS policy statement. Additionally, they raise reservations about specific aspects of clinical trials involving healthy individuals and the deliberate introduction of disease-causing agents, citing potential legal and ethical implications.
 

Why is transparency important in CHIS?

Transparency is crucial in CHIS to ensure accountability, ethical standards, and public trust in the scientific research process. Disclosing the individuals and entities involved in shaping the CHIS policy statement allows for an informed evaluation of potential biases and conflicts of interest.
 

What is the potential impact of CHIS on participants?

CHIS involves deliberately exposing healthy individuals to disease-causing agents. Activists are concerned about the potential risks and ethical considerations for participants involved in such studies, as their health and well-being must be protected throughout the research process.
 

How does this tie into the larger context of infectious disease research?

The debate over CHIS reflects the broader discussions surrounding infectious disease research, especially in the context of emerging diseases like COVID-19. Balancing scientific progress, participant safety, and ethical considerations remains a challenge for researchers, policymakers, and activists alike.


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