There are still numerous people who have never contracted Covid-19. Partly despite close contact with infected people. How is that possible? First of all, immunity is very individual and varies from person to person. Several studies also provide information.
New corona study: Researchers find protein that protects against infection
Researchers from Australia have discovered a protein that could explain some people’s corona immunity. The group announced its results on February 9, 2023 journal PLOS Biology published Genomics professor Greg Neely, Doctor Lipin Loo and Matthew Waller have the protein LRRC15 (leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 15) that sticks to Sars-CoV-2 in the lungs like Velcro, thereby incapacitating the virus. Specifically, LRRC docks15 attaches to the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2 and thus prevents other cells from being infected.
In their study, the researchers examined the lungs of people who died from Covid-19 or other diseases. Particularly large amounts of the new protein were found in the lungs of patients with severe corona courses. The British The Guardian said the researchers, LRRC15 was not detectable in humans before a corona infection. Therefore, Greg Neely, Lipin Loo and Matthew Waller assume that the protein is part of a new immune barrier that protects against severe Covid-19 courses and activates the body’s immune response. Why did the patients still die? According to the researchers, the LRRC15-Started production too late or spawned too little to help.
A study from London supports the researchers’ theory. Blood tests showed a higher level of the protein in patients with a mild course of the corona virus than in people with a severe course. The hope of the researchers from Australia is that based on LRRC15 new drugs can be developed that block viral infections.
Corona study: Some people are resistant to corona
Other studies have also looked at the immunity of some people. One of the most important findings: Some people are simply resistant to the corona virus. That’s what British researchers found out in a study in the journal Nature explained, which was published in November 2021. T cells play a key role in this.
These are white blood cells that can recognize foreign structures and represent the acquired immune system. When examining 58 clinic employees, the research team led by Leo Swadling apparently came up with a connection between corona infections and T cells. Although these clinic employees bring a high risk of infection, they did not become infected. Twenty of the people had elevated levels of T cells, and researchers discovered an immune protein called IFI27 in 19.
Immune protein IFI27 as an important indication of a corona infection
The immune protein IFI27 is intended to indicate that the person in question has already had contact with the corona virus. At least that’s what the British researchers want to have found out. They theorize that in such a case, an infection occurred but was cut off by an immune response from the body. The researchers see a rapid fight against the virus by T cells as a possible reason. This means that Covid-19 cannot or hardly multiply in the body.
As a result, the subjects avoided a corona infection because it was stopped. However, according to the researchers, the T cells could also indicate a corona infection other than Covid-19. It can be, for example, a Act cold that occurs seasonally.
Corona resistance is related to T cells
In January 2022 Another study appeared in Nature, which deals with the exciting question of why some people seem to be immune to Corona. Researchers from Imperial College London confirmed the importance of T cells – and also found evidence for the effectiveness of cross-immunity. “Our results indicate that cross-reactive memory T cells protect people without previous contact with SARS-CoV-2 from such an infection,” the scientists summarize their study. For this they had examined 52 people who had been proven to have had contact with the corona virus, but only half of whom had been infected. Interesting findings emerged from blood tests:
“Our study provides the strongest evidence to date that T cells produced by common cold coronaviruses have a protective function against SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Ajit Lalvani, senior author of the study. “These T -Cells provide protection by attacking proteins inside the virus rather than the spike protein on the virus surface.” Means after more than two years of corona pandemic: According to the study, anyone who has never been infected with corona is too likely to have a high level of cross-reactive T cells. At the same time, these ensure that the risk of suffering a severe course is reduced. The findings of the study are of great value in the further development of vaccines. And they show that if you have not yet been infected with the corona virus, there is a good chance that it will stay that way.
No corona infection: The blood group can also play a role
French scientists showed in a studythat the blood group can also have an impact on infection with Sars-CoV-2. Accordingly, the risk of infection increases if the blood groups of the people involved match – as with a blood donation. So if the sick person and a healthy person both have the same blood type, the likelihood of infection increases. This is also the case if the first infected person has blood group 0 and the infected person has blood group A. The probability of infection fell in the study, however, if the infected person has a blood group that the other person does not tolerate when donating blood. This would also explain why people with blood group 0 have the lowest risk of infection. Blood group 0 is compatible with all other blood groups, but can only accept donations from your own blood group.
Fighting Corona: A healthy lifestyle is also important
In addition to hereditary conditions, there are other ways to reduce the risk of corona infection. This includes, for example, avoiding large crowds, using mouth and nose protection and the usual procedures that are good for your health. Six tips to arm the immune system– also against viral diseases – we have summarized them here.
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