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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Explained: Response to SARS-CoV-2 after exposure to other coronaviruses

In a new study that appears in Nature Communications, scientists investigated how the immune system’s previous exposure to cold-causing coronaviruses impact immune response to Covid-19.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 2, 2021 7:41:06 am
An illustration of the coronavirus (File photo)

Besides SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, there are other coronaviruses that people are exposed to. Some of them cause less severe illnesses, such as the common cold.

In a new study that appears in Nature Communications, scientists investigated how the immune system’s previous exposure to cold-causing coronaviruses impact immune response to Covid-19. They discovered one cross-reactive coronavirus antibody that’s triggered during a Covid-19 infection. In later tests, the antibody also neutralised SARS-CoV-1, the coronavirus that causes SARS.

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The researchers determined that this type of cross-reactive antibody is likely produced by a memory B cell that’s initially exposed to a coronavirus that causes the common cold, and is then recalled during a COVID-19 infection. Memory B cells “remember” initial disease threats and can circulate in the bloodstream for decades, ready to be called back into action if the threat emerges again. These cells are responsible for producing targeted antibodies.

The discovery may be an important step in the eventual development of a pan-coronavirus vaccine, which would be able to protect against potential coronaviruses that emerge in the future, the researchers suggested.

Source: Scripps Research

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