New coronavirus ‘catches’ common cold virus, says study


Scientists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have found that rhinovirus, associated with common colds, is able to expel Sars-CoV-2, which causes covid-19, from human cells. Although the benefits in the infected organism are short-lived, they complement, it is possible that the variety helps to suppress the spread of the disease that took over the world over a year ago.

To reach the conclusions, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the team behind the study used a replica of the airway lining and infected it with both pathogens.

When launched at the same time, only the rhinovirus was successful in its development. In addition, with a 24-hour lead, it didn’t even give the new coronavirus a chance.

“Sars-CoV-2 never takes off, it is strongly inhibited by the rhinovirus”, explains Dr. Pablo Murcia to BBC News. “This is absolutely exciting, because if you have a high prevalence of rhinovirus, it can prevent further infections by Sars-CoV-2.”

Transient effect

Until then, it was not known how the new coronavirus interacted with other varieties, since distance measures contained the spread of the others. Anyway, in the organism, cells function as “rooms”, in which viruses can install themselves to initiate the replication process.

Some of them leave “open doors” for new hosts, while others “lock” them. Rhinoviruses, then, exhibit more “selfish” characteristics, unlike Sars-CoV-2. This is what guarantees advantages to the first

The event was not at all unexpected. Similar effects, also generated by the most frequent specimen, would have been responsible for the delay of the swine flu pandemic in parts of Europe in 2019, after a major outbreak.

In turn, other experiments indicate that the dominant microorganism blocks the ability of the new coronavirus to produce copies of itself.

Unfortunately, the answer to the cure for covid-19 does not seem to lie in the novelty.

Future consequences

As soon as the cold passes and the rhinoviruses are eliminated, Sars-CoV-2 is free, again, to take care of everything and acts as if it had never faced any opponent.

Lawrence Young, from Warwick Medical School, UK, hopeful, argues that the study suggests “that the common infection may impact the burden of covid-19 and influence the spread of Sars-CoV-2, particularly during the fall and winter months. , when seasonal colds are more frequent “, slowing the number of cases in certain regions.

Susan Hopkins, of Public Health England, England, on the other hand, warns that the deadliest threat may be coupled with other infections as the body’s immunity against the others decreases with reduced contact. “We could see outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory viruses and pathogens.”

Pablo Murcia concludes: “Vaccination, added to hygiene and interactions between viruses, can greatly reduce the incidence of Sars-CoV-2. Even so, the maximum effect will come from the immunizer.”


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