Colds that have infected you for years can be beneficial if your body intends to fight the new coronavirus.
A study published on Tuesday revealed that some people who have never been exposed to the new Corona virus, may have T cells that interact with it.
Scientists believe that the reason for this is that these cells have previously learned how to identify and control corona viruses, which cause colds.
T cells are a type of white blood cell, and they are an important part of the body’s defense against the virus: they identify and destroy infected cells, while B cells also learn how to manufacture new antibodies. When you become infected, your immune system produces these antibodies and white blood cells.
Antibody levels can drop in the months after infection, but T memory cells remain for years and can help launch another attack if the virus itself returns.
Recent research indicates that T cells that remember how to fight other corona viruses may give people an immune lead against the new corona virus.
“This could help explain why some people develop symptoms of milder disease while others get very sick,” said Alessandro Set, one of the authors of the new study, in a press release. However, he cautioned, it was too early to know whether pre-existing immunological memory was affecting the results of Covid-19 patients.
Some T cells recognize the new Corona virus without seeing it before. The Citt team analyzed blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018 from 25 people, and of course, they had no “Covid-19” at all. They found that these individuals who are not exposed to the disease have T memory cells, that can recognize the new corona virus and the four common types of corona viruses.
These results are based on Seet’s research, published in May, in which he described 10 people who had never been exposed to the new Corona virus, but who had helper T cells able to recognize and respond to it.
A larger analysis was also conducted in data from groups in the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and it was concluded that white blood cells from 20% to 50% of people not exposed to the disease interact highly with the new SK virus.
“The pre-existing immune reaction is somewhat found in the general population,” Seet wrote in the analysis. Two other recent studies provide more evidence for this conclusion.
The first report, published last month, found that out of 68 healthy Germans who had not contracted “Covid-19”, more than a third had T cells that interact with the virus. The second study, published in Nature, found that more than half of a group of 37 healthy people who had never had “Covid-19” had T memory cells that could identify the new Corona virus.
The Nature study also examined 23 people who survived SARS – also the coronavirus – and found that they still had SARS T-cells after 17 years of illness. These same T cells can recognize the new coronavirus, too.
A more likely explanation for these observations is a phenomenon called cross-reactivity: When T cells evolve in response to a single virus, they interact with a similar but previously unknown pathogen.
In the absence of CRTs, your body must step up its defense from scratch – which may affect how your immune system responds to the invading virus. Set said that different levels of reciprocity may “translate into different degrees of protection.”
He added: “Having a strong response to T cells, or a better response to T cells, may give you the opportunity to do a much faster and stronger response.”
Source: Science Alert