The idea was compelling: May youngsters be much less susceptible to the brand new coronavirus as a result of they carry antibodies to different coronaviruses that trigger the widespread chilly? Would possibly that additionally assist clarify why some individuals contaminated with the brand new virus have delicate signs whereas others are extra severely affected?
The notion gained traction notably amongst individuals who thought it will swiftly result in herd immunity. A examine within the journal Science, printed in December, gave the hypothesis a powerful increase.
However a new study published on Tuesday within the journal Cell discovered that the theory does not hold up. Based mostly on experiments with dwell virus and with tons of of blood samples drawn earlier than and after the pandemic, the analysis refutes the concept antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses have any affect on the brand new coronavirus, referred to as SARS-CoV-2.
“Going into this examine, we thought we might be taught that people that had pre-existing, pre-pandemic antibodies towards SARS-CoV-2 can be much less inclined to an infection and have much less extreme Covid-19 illness,” stated Scott Hensley, an immunologist on the College of Pennsylvania. “That’s not what we discovered.”
He and his colleagues concluded that most individuals are uncovered to seasonal coronaviruses by age 5. Consequently, about one in 5 individuals carries antibodies that acknowledge the brand new coronavirus.
However the crew discovered that these antibodies should not neutralizing — they can’t disarm the virus, nor do they mitigate the severity of signs after an infection.