Exposure to mild coronaviruses builds resistance to COVID-19

Population immunity achieved through vaccines or through infection is the basis of the fight against a pandemic, the researchers from University of Zurich.

Researchers are now reporting on another element of such resistance. – People who have a strong immune response to other human coronavirusesare also to some extent protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection – explains prof. Alexandra Trkola, author of a publication that appeared in the journal “Nature Communications”.

Her team analyzed antibody levels against four non-SARS-CoV-2 human coronaviruses in more than 800 pre-pandemic blood samples. He also checked the concentration of these antibodies in nearly 400 samples taken from infected people SARS-CoV-2.

Using computer analysis, scientists estimated how well exposure to other coronaviruses protected against the one that caused the current outbreak.

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 had fewer antibodies to other coronaviruses – the ones that cause colds. It turned out that contact with harmless viruses reduced the risk of hospitalization in the course of COVID-19.

– Our study shows that a strong antibody-based response to human coronaviruses increases the number of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Someone who has obtained immunity to harmless coronaviruses is therefore better protected against SARS-CoV-2 “- says Prof. Trkola.

This is called cross resistance. It is weaker than that obtained by COVID-19 or vaccination, but it is not without significance.

– Of course immune response anti-SARS-CoV2 mediated by memory cells is much stronger than the cross-response. But, even if protection is not complete cross-reaction shortens the infection and reduces its severity. Exactly this effect is obtained thanks to vaccinations, only much more effectively – explains the expert.


About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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