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Study: Common cold in past may give protection from Covid-19

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 30-09-2020
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Study: Common cold in past may give protection from Covid-19
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Researchers have found that people who have had a bout of seasonal or common cold in the past may get protection from Covid-19. The study, published in the journal mBio, also suggests that immunity to Covid-19 is likely to last a long time - maybe even a lifetime. The study showed that the Covid-19-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, induces memory B cells, long-lived immune cells that detect pathogens, create antibodies to destroy them and remember them for the future.

The next time that pathogen tries to enter the body, those memory B cells can hop into action even faster to clear the infection before it starts. Because memory B cells can survive for decades, they could protect Covid-19 survivors from subsequent infections for a long time, but further research will have to bear that out, the researchers said.

The study is also the first to report cross-reactivity of memory B cells - meaning B cells that once attacked cold-causing coronaviruses appeared to also recognise SARS-CoV-2. Study authors believe this could mean that anyone who has been infected by a common coronavirus - which is nearly everyone - may have some degree of pre-existing immunity to Covid-19.
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