Does previous cold virus infection protect against corona?

Hannes StockingerIn contrast, the immunologist at the Meduni Vienna is not at all surprised: “Every person produces T cells – in a random process. If I analyze them closely as an immunologist, I will identify helper cells with a receptor against the coronavirus in many people. ”Young people produce about a billion of these helper cells every day. When you are old, new formation stops, knows Stockinger. “This means that a young person has a much greater chance of having a protective structure in the body.”

Naive T cells and memory cells

What was unfortunately not examined in the Charité study: whether it is a matter of so-called naive T cells, which are simply there due to the random principle (is also called a forward-looking immune system). Or whether the cells are actually already with the virus were in contact (so-called Memory cells).

Stockinger explains: “When we come into contact with a pathogen, the system starts to run and adapts to it virus and does this so-called Memory cells. And they are responsible for ensuring that the body produces antibodies and is protected against the next virus attack. ”

Too early for basic immunity

The conclusion of the Viennese immunologist, who is currently doing such a test system for Memory cells and to build naive cells: “Based on this study it would be premature to conclude that there is a basic immunity.” So many parameters have to be taken into account – innate defense mechanisms, nutrition, etc.: “People are different, and when a pathogen comes along, every body reacts different. ”In many cases, individual genetics also determine whether pathogens are digested better or worse by the body.

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