Do You Have Common Cold Infection? Your Body May Recognise COVID-19 Faster: Study

Did you know that your immune system’s memory helper ‘T’ cells recognise the common cold virus and also identifies some parts of the novel coronavirus? A new study’s findings may explain why some people have milder COVID-19 than others, reported Hindustan Times (HT).

The T cells keep track of the viruses they have seen before. They give the cells a headstart in recognising and fighting off repeat invaders, revealed the research published in the journal Science.

However, the scientists, including those from La Jolla Institute (LJI) in the US, cautioned that it is too soon to say whether such pre-existing immune cell memory affects COVID-19 clinical outcomes, reported HT.

“We have now proven that, in some people, pre-existing ‘T’ cell memory against common cold coronaviruses can cross-recognise SARS-CoV-2, down to the exact molecular structures,” said Daniela Weiskopf, a co-author of the study from LJI. “This could help explain why some people show milder symptoms of the disease while others get severely sick,” Weiskopf said.

“Having a strong T cell response, or a better ‘T’ cell response may give you the opportunity to mount a much quicker and stronger response,” Alessandro Sette, another co-author of the study from LJI was quoted as saying in HT.

An earlier study by Sette and his team had shown that 40 to 60 per cent of people who were never exposed to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had ‘T’ cells that reacted to the virus.

In the current research, the scientists assessed samples collected from study participants who had never been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

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