Researchers around the world are continuing their search in finding something that could help fight the novel coronavirus and finally lift lockdowns around the world without fear of getting infected with COVID-19.
In one new study, researchers believe that T-cells might be the key to getting protection against the virus and that being exposed to common cold could provide some level of immunity.
According to a report by The Telegraph, scientists from Tubingen University in Germany suggest that the T-cells have an essential role in gaining immunity against COVID-19 just like antibodies.
T-cells are a type of white blood cell that works with our immune system to fight off foreign objects within our body, including viruses like SARS-CoV-2.
To get the results they need, researchers from the university gathered blood samples from those who have already recovered from COVID-19 as well as people who haven’t been infected yet and compared the samples.
The result suggests that 81% of the 185 people they tested who haven’t been infected with coronavirus had a T-cell response to the virus.
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Moreover, they found out that this response had been previously linked to common cold exposure, meaning those who have been exposed to it could have a certain level of immunity against the highly-infectious disease.
The study is published in the preprint server Research Square and has not yet undergone peer review.
This is not the first time common cold has been linked to some sort of protection against coronavirus, as the news outlet has previously noted what Sir John Bell, a Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said to his peers at the House of Lords Science and Technology Select.
According to Sir Bell, younger people are more likely to be exposed to the common cold compared to adults, which is why COVID-19 may not severely affect them.
“How you respond may be due to the state of your existing immunity to coronaviruses generally,” sir Bell said.
“There is an interesting speculation at the moment, that suggests that many people in young or middle aged groups may have T-cells that can already see coronavirus. It may well be able to provide some protection against this pathogen when it arrives.”
Furthermore, Science Magazine also reported on two published studies that focus on T-cells and their role in helping the body fight the novel coronavirus.
According to the magazine, those who are COVID-19 positive had T-cells that specifically target SARS-CoV-2, which could help them recover from the infection.
Coinciding with the research from Germany, the two studies published in May 2020 also showed that people who haven’t been infected with coronavirus already have these cellular defenses, and that might be because they have been exposed to common cold before.
Certain common colds are caused by a different type of coronavirus that is much less threatening than SARS-CoV-2, which could be fatal for those who are at high risk of complications.
There is no cure for the common cold, but it usually stays for around a week to 10 days.
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