New Study Finds Common Cold T Cells Capable of Providing Covid 19 Protection

New Study Finds Common Cold T Cells Capable of Providing Covid 19 Protection

  • The latest research conducted into the behaviour of the Covid-19 infection reveals some startling information
  • Researchers found that protection against Covid-19 can be found in T cells which lend defence against the common flu
  • The study honed in on levels of cross-reactive T cells caused by previous common colds in contacts of positive Covid-19 cases
  • Scepticism, uncertainty and confusion was the order of the day as social media sleuths reacted to the earth-shattering study

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LONDON - Incredible new research suggests high levels of T cells, such as those that give the body defence against common colds and flu, can deliver protection against Covid-19.

According to the study on Monday, published by Imperial College London, a public research university, the groundbreaking development could be integral to developing second-generation vaccines. These will take the body's natural defence system against the virus into account, TimesLIVE reported.

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Imperial College London, Research, Study, Covid-19, T cells, Common flu, Vaccines, Experts, Virus, Social media
Common flu T cells can provide a defence against Covid 19, researchers have found. Image: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

T cells are also thought to play a vital role in providing protection, although there is proof of waning antibody levels months after vaccination. But experts have warned that people should not rely on this defence alone, noting that vaccines remain just as important as before.

The study started in September 2020 and was conducted in 52 households, looked at levels of cross-reactive T cells caused by previous common colds in contacts of positive Covid-19 cases after exposure. As part of the research, scientists sought to determine whether the T cells went on to become infected.

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52 Families and 28 research days later

In an attempt to better understand why some people contracted Covid, while others didn't, after exposure to the virus, the research team discovered that 26 households (half the group) that didn't get infected during the 28-day study period had significantly higher T cells levels, BBC News reported.

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"We uncovered that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses, can protect against Covid-19 infection," said study author Dr Rhia Kundu.

Briefly News understands that current vaccines target the spike protein, which mutates regularly and, in turn, creates Covid-19 variants, including Omicron, which lessen the effectiveness of vaccines against symptomatic infection.

Mixed reactions grace the timeline

In usual chirpy fashion, curious South Africans were vocal about the latest development on social media, airing mixed reactions, with some labelling the Covid-19 pandemic as a hoax.

Briefly News takes a look at some of the loudest reactions below.

@Prince Dube wrote:

"I won't be surprised next time they woke up and say sorry the vaccine was a hoax. Today I had a discussion with my person, she got the jab last year and I haven't, she is now due for a boost and still, I am not going there. Even if she gets a booster of the booster I am not getting one."

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@Peter J Simons said:

"We, not the scientists told them this from the beginning but they didn't listen because you have to be a scientist or doctor to mention something when it comes to Covid-19."

@Errol Magda Du Preez added:

"But it's common sense! Boost the immune system! Go fresh veggies and fruits and take care of your body. Exercise and lose weight. That's how we (old) people survive delta."

Business improves for liquor industry despite Covid-19

Elsewhere, Briefly News reported that the current alert Level 1 restrictions in South Africa have done little to hamper business as alcohol sales have gone up amid the festive season, leading to an improved bottom line, according to the Liquor Trading Industry.

The country moved to an adjusted lockdown in September, which opened the door for bars and restaurants to trade alcohol until 11 pm. Similarly, liquor stores were able to revert to normal operating hours.

SABC News reported that traders were initially uneasy over a potential negative outlook after the emergence of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant. After multiple bans on the sale of alcohol in South Africa over the last 21 months, the liquor industry felt justified in believing that another lockdown was in the pipeline.

Source: Briefly News

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