Why Some People Seem Immune to Covid-19: Unique Cell Responses


Volunteers have been exposed to the coronavirus that causes covid-19 as part of a scientific study. Unique cell responses mean some people may be immune to catching the coronavirus, even if they are unvaccinated, reports NewsScientist.

About the study

The study revealed intriguing insights into the immune responses of these individuals. Despite being exposed to the virus, some participants did not contract covid-19, suggesting the presence of unique cell responses that confer natural immunity. Researchers discovered that these individuals had pre-existing T-cells, likely generated by exposure to other coronaviruses, such as those causing the common cold. These T-cells appear to recognize and respond to SARS-CoV-2, providing a form of cross-protection.

Further investigation showed that the immune systems of these individuals responded more robustly and rapidly to the virus, effectively neutralizing it before it could establish an infection. This finding opens up new avenues for understanding natural immunity and could inform the development of more effective vaccines and treatments. By identifying the specific mechanisms behind this natural resistance, scientists hope to enhance protective strategies against covid-19 and other emerging infectious diseases.

Deliberately exposing people to the coronavirus behind covid-19 in a so-called challenge study has helped us understand why some people seem to be immune to catching the infection.

In the first covid-19 challenge study, conducted in 2021, a group of international researchers examined 16 individuals with no known health conditions who had neither tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus nor been vaccinated against it.

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Source: New Scientist