Immunity to Common Cold Viruses Lowers Risk of Severe COVID-19

According to researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland, people who had been exposed to common cold coronaviruses (HCoVs) circulating before the pandemic have a higher level of immunity against COVID-19.Immunity to Common Cold Viruses Lowers Risk of Severe COVID-19

For this study, the scientists analyzed serum samples from 825 participants taken before the pandemic and assessed their immune responses to four of these HCoVs. They also analyzed 389 serum samples from individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The analysis showed that people who contracted SARS-CoV-2 had lower levels of antibodies against HCoVs than those who did not contract the virus.

Prof. Alexandra Trkola, lead researcher and head of the Institute of Medical Virology at UZH, says: “Of course, immune responses targeting SARS-CoV-2 that are mounted by the memory cellsTrusted Source are far more effective than cross-reactive responses. But even though the protection isn’t absolute, cross-reactive immune responses shorten the infection and reduce its severity. And this is exactly what is also achieved through vaccination, just much, much more efficiently.”

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