The idea was compelling: Might youngsters be much less weak to the brand new coronavirus as a result of they carry antibodies to different coronaviruses that trigger the widespread chilly? May 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 significantly amongst individuals who thought it will swiftly result in herd immunity. A examine within the journal Science, revealed in December, gave the speculation a powerful enhance.
However a brand new examine revealed on Tuesday within the journal Cell discovered that the speculation doesn’t maintain up. Based mostly on experiments with stay virus and with lots of of blood samples drawn earlier than and after the pandemic, the analysis refutes the concept that antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses have any impression on the brand new coronavirus, referred to as SARS-CoV-2.
“Going into this examine, we thought we’d study that people that had pre-existing, pre-pandemic antibodies in opposition to 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 group discovered that these antibodies will not be neutralizing — they can’t disarm the virus, nor do they mitigate the severity of signs after an infection.