Does the common cold provide immunity from Covid-19? – K-News

After a cold, a person’s immune system can better prepare for Sars-CoV-2 infection and for easier illness. This is the opinion of the team of Daniela Weiskopf from Tyrol (Austria), now working in the USA, write the media.

The culprits of colds, that is, inflammation of the nasal mucosa, are bacteria and viruses of all kinds: rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, influenza viruses and harmless coronaviruses, the relationship of which with Sars-CoV-2 can help the body prepare in advance for Covid 19.

Weisskopf’s team studied the role of T cells and presented their research in Science Immunology in July. T cells or T lymphocytes are a subset of white blood cells, one of the components of the human immune system. They do not secrete specific antibodies against the virus, but must recognize their target structures directly on the surface of the pathogen.

Scientists have determined that special T cells react surprisingly strongly to the pathogen of the pandemic. Even in the first study, scientists compared older blood samples (2015-2018). with the new coronavirus and noticed that T cells in almost half of the samples taken long before Covid 19 showed a reaction to parts of its pathogen. Perhaps the culprit was cross-immunity “which is caused by common cold viruses circulating in the population.”

Daniela Weisskopf investigated this hypothesis with her colleague Jose Mateus. Once again, scientists found more than 100 parts of Sars-CoV-2 in blood samples taken before 2019. In many cases, T cells have responded to both it and harmless coronaviruses. The strongest immune responses were elicited by a characteristic spike protein that Sars-CoV-2 uses to enter cells.

If the researchers’ assumption is correct, then the immune system is multifaceted. Antibodies target specific viruses and, at best, neutralize their closest relatives. T cells have a wider spectrum.

In this particular case, they can use the information gained in the fight against harmless coronavirus rhinitis against a dangerous new pathogen, which may partially explain why Covid 19 disease progresses in different ways in humans.

Thus, immune memory T-cells track viruses that they “encountered” earlier, which enables the immune memory to recognize and fight foreign agents.

Previous studies, notably from the journal Cell from Sette Lab and Professor Shane Crotty, have shown that 40-60% of people never exposed to SARS-CoV-2 already had T cells that respond to the appearance of the virus. Their immune system recognized the parts of the virus that it had “seen” before. This phenomenon is global in nature, because cases were recorded around the world: in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Singapore.

The team of scientists collected samples of biological fluids from patients who have never encountered SARS-CoV-2, and also identified the specific fate of the virus responsible for the cross-over T-cell response.

Data analysis has shown that people previously not exposed to Covid-19 can produce memory T cells that are equally effective against the 4 common colds caused by coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

The results obtained could make a great contribution to the development of vaccines against Covid-19.

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