Common colds are undoubtedly unpleasant, but a recent study from infectious disease experts of the University of Rochester Medical Center claims that the colds we’ve experienced in the past might help us protect ourselves against Covid-19.
The study was posted in mBio, and it’s the first to claim that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that provokes Covid-19, induces memory B cells. These are immune cells that last for a prolonged time to detect and destroy pathogens ulteriorly.
These cells can also remember specific pathogens to destroy them rapidly upon contracting them again, preventing them from commencing a full-on infection.
Memory B cells are rumored to last for decades, which is one reason researchers are analyzing whether those who won the fight against Covid-19 will be protected by the cells.
According to the study, memory B cells can cross-react, meaning that they might be just smart enough to recognize SARS-CoV-2.
Who Has The Superpower?
Coronaviruses provoke some common colds, so there is a chance that some people have developed immunity against the deadly virus.
The impressive aspect is that the researchers believe that it’s the case for nearly all of us.
Mark Sangster, Ph.D., a research professor of Microbiology and Immunology at URMC, said:
“When we looked at blood samples from people who were recovering from Covid-19, it looked like many of them had a pre-existing pool of memory B cells that could recognize SARS-CoV-2 and rapidly produce antibodies that could attack it.”
The scientists analyzed blood samples from 26 patients recovering from mild to moderate illness and 21 healthy individuals who donated pieces between six and ten years ago.
They looked out for spike proteins that are present in all the coronaviruses.
Though the spike proteins differ in each coronavirus, they have a common component that can be recognized by memory B cells. According to the researchers, that was the situation in a subclass of coronaviruses known as beta coronaviruses responsible for colds, SARS, MERS, and SARS-Cov02.
Level Of Protection
The researchers are still working on determining the level of protection the memory B cells can provide and what that spells out for patients suffering from COVID-19.
David Topham, Ph.D., the Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at URMC says that’s the next step.
“Now we need to see if having this pool of pre-existing memory B cells correlates with milder symptoms and shorter disease course – or if it helps boost the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines,” he added.
The human body is amazing! Imagine having dedicated cells in your body that are doing their best to protect you from getting ill (and succeeding for the most part)!
We take our immunity for granted, but a closer look at HIV patients in an advanced phase that are left untreated spells out a harsh reality – We don’t give the antibodies, memory cells, and other fighters in our bodies the respect they deserve!
You should do your best to stay healthy. That includes eating healthy, drinking water, for the most part, working out, and so on.
Also, the influenza season is at the door. Experts fear that a so-called “twindemic” is upon us, so you should go get your annual flu shot.