Study identifies antibody from common cold infection that reacts to COVID

Science and Health

Most Americans have had prior exposure to different coronaviruses before the COVID-19 pandemic, which may cause a certain antibody to be triggered in the case of COVID-19 infection, a new scientific study has found.

Published in the academic journal Nature Communications, the peer-reviewed study investigated how the body’s immune system reacted to COVID-19 after prior exposure to one of the at least four other coronaviruses that are common in the US and trigger the relatively benign illness known colloquially as the common cold.
The study found that the antibody in question reacts not only to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, but also SARS-CoV-1, which causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
This antibody is likely produced by a memory b cell that was previously exposed to the common cold, according to Raiees Andrabi, the study’s senior author, who serves as an investigator in the Scripps Research Institute’s Department of Immunology and Microbiology, according to the website News Medical.
These cells are essential parts of the immune system, and function by remembering diseases that had entered the body already.
The study’s findings are significant as they could not only help pave the way for better vaccines and treatments, but it could also help combat future types of coronaviruses that may emerge.
“Another deadly coronavirus will likely emerge again in the future – and when it does, we want to be better prepared,” Prof. Dennis Burton, one of the study’s authors, said, according to News Medical. 

“Our identification of a cross-reactive antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and the more common coronaviruses is a promising development on the way to a broad-acting vaccine or therapy.”

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