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Jan 12, 2022
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Scientists in the UK suggest the common cold may protect against COVID-19

Researchers in the UK believe that immunity after the common cold may provide some protection against COVID-19. The fact is that COVID-19 is caused by one type of coronavirus, and some colds are caused by other coronaviruses, so scientists wondered if immunity against one could help with another.

A small study by researchers from Imperial College London involved 52 people who were living with someone who had just contracted COVID-19. Scientists decided to find out why some people become infected with a new coronavirus infection when they come into contact with SARS-CoV-2, while others do not.

Half of the participants in the experiment were infected with a new coronavirus infection. The rest – who were not infected – had higher T cell levels from previous coronavirus infections, such as the common cold. It is believed that these cells can recognize proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19.

The study says T cells attack proteins within the virus, not the spike protein that the most widely used vaccines target. The study’s senior author, Professor Ajit Lalwani, said the results provide “the clearest evidence that common cold coronavirus-induced T cells play a protective role against COVID-19,” and could be key to developing a universal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. …

Scientists warn that it would be a mistake to think that anyone who has recently had a cold is automatically protected from COVID-19, since not all colds are caused by coronaviruses.

Previously, another study did not support the theory that the seasonal colds suffered in the past in any way protect us from SARS-Cov-2. American scientists stated that the presence of cross-immunity did not affect the severity of COVID-19 in any way. In patients with antibodies to seasonal coronavirus, the study did not find any clinical benefit over other patients. Cross-reactive antibodies also did not reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In another scientific study, Australian scientists from the Institute of Infections and Immunity. Peter Doherty hypothesized that the immune system of an elderly person mistakenly recognizes SARS-Cov-2 as a seasonal coronavirus and does not “read” it as dangerous. Presumably, this is why older people often get very seriously ill with a new coronavirus infection.


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