August 8, 2020

CROSS-IMMUNITY: Common Colds May Have ‘Primed’ Some People’s Immune Systems For COVID-19. “A cold you got years ago may prove helpful if your body has to fight the new coronavirus. According to a study published Tuesday, some people who’ve never been exposed to the new coronavirus may nonetheless have T cells that react to it. Scientists think that’s because those cells previously learned how to identify and fight coronaviruses that cause common colds. . . . Two other recent studies offer even more evidence for this conclusion. The first, published last month, found that among 68 healthy Germans who’d never had COVID-19, more than one-third had T cells that reacted to the virus. The second, published in the journal Nature, found that more than half of a group of 37 healthy people who had never gotten COVID-19 had memory T cells that could recognise the new coronavirus. The Nature study also examined 23 people who’d survived SARS – which is a coronavirus, too – and found that they still had SARS-specific memory T cells 17 years after getting sick. Those same T cells could recognise the new coronavirus as well.”

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