How well does your immune system protect you against viruses?

A few months ago, there were a couple of studies published in Europe about the speculation that common colds caused by coronavirus could offer protection against the SARS-Co-V-2 virus that causes COVID-19. I wrote about them at that time. Further studies were underway in other countries to substantiate this theory.

Common Cold Coronavirus The common cold can be caused by various coronaviruses. Some scientists think that if our bodies developed antibodies to that cold virus we might be protected from the pandemic virus. is a link to a study published this week in the journal Science on that topic. It reports that children who have had colds are less likely to become infected from the COVID-19 virus.

It is thought that the children have benefited from cross-reactive antibodies in the coronavirus caused common colds. Children appear to have greater protection compared to adults having similar common colds during their lives.

Spanish Study on Colds and Coronavirus gives details of the Spanish antibody study recently completed that found about 5% (averaged across the country) of Spain’s population contracted the coronavirus. Four coronaviruses cause nearly 25% of the common cold.

The scientists stated that all populations have been living with coronaviruses for years. Most cause minor respiratory issues – like the common cold. Some are more serious – like SARS and MERS. This is critical today when the pandemic is viewed from six or more months ago.

More people are becoming infected, yet it is not a repeat of the situation during the first couple of months of the pandemic. More people are infected but fewer are receiving hospital care and die. Could one reason be the previous exposure to the coronaviruses that cause the common cold?

Pre-existing Antibodies Our immune systems protect us when we see new viruses. It takes a while longer for everything to react and work properly. However, when our bodies see a repeat offender entering our bodies, the immune response is faster, and we typically may not see symptoms as severe as the first time we had a specific viral disease.

There seems to be a disparity between those having the common cold and having a level of protection against COVID-19 and similar people without similar levels of defense. The spike on the coronavirus is made of two parts – S1 and S2.

The S1 physically connects the virus to the human cell. The S2 injects the viral material into the cell. The S1 and S2 appear to have different viral components when our immune system encounters them, and we create different antibodies for each part.

The current theory being raised is the common cold coronavirus S1 and S2 unique enough that cross-reactive antibodies could be effective on both. With that in mind, scientists are now pursuing that frame of reference at the Imperial College and University College in London.


The weekly news about COVID-19 brings fresh information regarding many facets of the virus and potential ways to neutralize it. This is another in a never-ending world of research that focuses on how to stop and prevent the spread of our pandemic.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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