(STUDY FINDS) -- BERLIN — The answer to why some cases of COVID-19 are worse than others is the subject of intense research efforts. A new study aims to address this issue after finding that more than one-third of people who were never exposed to the virus possess immune cells capable of recognizing SARS-CoV-2. Scientists suggest that these cells could be the result of prior infection with other “common cold” viruses.
The study is led by scientists at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG). Published in Nature, the research looks at the presence of an immune cell called a T-helper cell in the blood of 18 coronavirus patients and 68 healthy individuals with no exposure to the virus. T-helper cells are critical for the development and maintenance of protective antibody responses in humans. Scientists believe these cells may play an important role in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.