This could mean that anyone who's ever been infected by a common cold coronavirus - almost everyone - may have some amount of immunity to COVID-19, according to infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y.
The findings provide important insight into the immune response against SARS-CoV-2, which could have significant implications on Covid-19 vaccine development.
The common cold can make you miserable, but it might also help protect you against COVID-19, a new study suggests. What is interesting about the cold viruses is the extent to which they share similarity, as shown byt gene sequence homology, with the human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for COVID-19.
"When we looked at blood samples from people who were recovering from COVID-19, it looked like many of them had a preexisting pool of memory B cells that could recognize SARS-CoV-2 and rapidly produce antibodies that could attack it", study author Mark Sangster said in a university news release.
The CRP-PCR detects diverse respiratory pathogens including the endemic "common cold" coronaviruses. This was as compared to a second group ofpatients who had not contracted a cold virus but who had also become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes mellitus diagnosis, Covid-19 hospitalized patients who had a previous positive CRP-PCR test result for a coronoavirus had significantly lower odds of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and lower trending odds of requiring mechanical ventilation during Covid.
The authors noted that if SARS-CoV-2 were to infect and spread among wild mammals, it could potentially cause disease in some populations, in turn further endangering already threatened species.