Scottish researchers have found that antibodies accumulated during the common cold can serve as a level of protection against the novel coronavirus.
Research performed by the University of Glasgow creates an argument that the human rhinovirus "triggers an innate immune response" that blocks coronavirus replication in the respiratory tract, the university said.
Previous research has shown that when human rhinovirus infections come into contact with other respiratory viruses, the "type and severity" are generally affected, normally in the virus's ability to spread.
The researchers recreated controlled coronavirus infections within a lab-based environment. The researchers then studied the replication of coronavirus in the cells it infected.
Researchers ran occurrences where study participants were infected with both coronavirus and the common cold, as well as separately of one another.
“Our research shows that human rhinovirus triggers an innate immune response in human respiratory epithelial cells which blocks the replication of the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2," Professor Pablo Murcia, of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, said.
"This means that the immune response caused by mild, common cold virus infections, could provide some level of transient protection against SARS-CoV-2, potentially blocking transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and reducing the severity of COVID-19," Murcia added. "In the meantime, vaccination is our best method of protection against COVID-19.”
Their findings were recently published in the Oxford Academic Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.