T-cells from common colds can provide protection against COVID-19 – study – Reuters

REUTERS/Hannah McKayRegister now for FREE limitless access to Reuters.comRegisterStudy included 52 people exposed to COVID at homeThose not infected had battled off common coldsAuthors recommend brand-new vaccines might mimic this protectionLONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – High levels of T-cells from common cold coronaviruses can offer protection versus COVID-19, an Imperial College London research study published on Monday has actually found, which could inform approaches for second-generation vaccines.Immunity against COVID-19 is a complex image, and while there is proof of subsiding antibody levels 6 months after vaccination, T-cells are likewise believed to play a crucial role in supplying protection.The research study, which started in September 2020, looked at levels of cross-reactive T-cells generated by previous typical colds in 52 household contacts of positive COVID-19 cases shortly after direct exposure, to see if they went on to establish infection.Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterIt found that the 26 who did not establish infection had significantly greater levels of those T-cells than individuals who did get infected.”We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, produced by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can safeguard against COVID-19 infection,” research study author Dr Rhia Kundu said.The authors of the research study, released in Nature Communications, said that the internal proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 infection which are targeted by the T-cells might provide an alternative target for vaccine makers.Current COVID-19 vaccines target the spike protein, which mutates routinely, developing versions such as Omicron which decrease the efficacy of vaccines versus symptomatic infection.”In contrast, the internal proteins targeted by the protective T-cells we recognized mutate much less,” Professor Ajit Lalvani, co-author of the research study, said.