Benefit of the Common Cold? It May Prevent COVID

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, October 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) – The common cold can make you miserable, but it could also help protect you against COVID-19, a new study suggests.

The researchers added that people who have had COVID-19 may be immune for a long time, possibly even the rest of their lives.

Research has focused on memory B cells, long-lasting immune cells that detect pathogens, produce antibodies to destroy them, and remember them for the future.

The study authors compared blood samples from 26 people who were recovering from mild to moderate COVID-19 and 21 healthy people whose samples were taken six to 10 years ago, long before they were ‘they could not have been exposed to COVID-19.

They found that B cells that attacked previous cold-causing coronaviruses also seemed to recognize the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19.

This could mean that anyone who has ever been infected with a common cold coronavirus – almost anyone – may have some immunity to COVID-19, according to infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY

The researchers also found that SARS-CoV-2 triggers memory B cells, which means these immune cells are ready to fight off the coronavirus the next time it appears in the body.

“When we looked at blood samples from people recovering from COVID-19, it appeared that many of them had a pre-existing pool of memory B cells capable of recognizing SARS-CoV-2 and producing antibodies rapidly. who could attack it, ”study author Mark Sangster said in an academic press release. He is a research professor in microbiology and immunology.

Because memory B cells can survive for decades, they could protect COVID-19 survivors from subsequent infections for a long time, but more research is needed to confirm this, the authors say.

“We now need to see if this pool of pre-existing memory B cells correlates with milder symptoms and shorter disease course – or if it helps boost the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” co-author of The study David Topham, professor of microbiology and immunology, said in the statement.

The study was published in the September / October issue of the journal mBio.

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SOURCE: University of Rochester Medical Center, press release, September 28, 2020

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