Research Finds The Common Cold Won't Protect People From COVID-19

There are several different types of coronaviruses that cause the common cold and have been around for a long time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people have had one of these types of coronavirus, and if you have, you might have antibodies from them. Researchers theorized that the antibodies for the common cold coronaviruses might help prevent people from getting COVID-19 or help with the severity of the infection if they got COVID-19.

Common cold coronavirus antibodies won't protect you from COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, according to a 2021 study published in Cell and Penn Medicine News. Researchers looked at 431 people's serum samples taken pre-pandemic and compared those samples to 251 serum samples from different people who contracted COVID-19. They used samples from 251 similar people who didn't get COVID-19 for a control group. They discovered that over 20 percent of those 431 people had what they call "cross-reactive anti-CoV antibodies" that could have the ability to fight off the common cold coronaviruses and, potentially, COVID-19.

The impact of coronavirus antibodies

The researchers in this study discovered that most people had antibodies from the common cold coronaviruses, but those antibodies did not protect them from getting COVID-19 or give them a better chance of fighting it. Cell memory could help with the severity of COVID-19, but more studies are needed on that aspect.

The researchers also looked at the different antibodies in adults and children and found that they have similar amounts of the cross-reactive coronavirus antibodies. However, that did not explain why most children who get COVID-19 don't usually get a severe case.

In another part of the study, researchers looked at 27 patients' blood samples who were hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 and found that their antibodies were boosted while they were infected. More studies are needed to determine the role of cross-reactive anti-CoV antibodies with the immune system and COVID-19 infections. The researchers are hopeful that a study on these antibodies could show a way to prevent people from getting COVID-19 or reduce the severity of the virus.