Exposure to common cold-causing coronaviruses may contribute to pre-existing immunity to COVID-19, according to a new study involving a Rutgers research scientist. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Virology Plus, examined the immune responses in two categories of individuals in Lagos, Nigeria: health care workers in a teaching hospital and members of the general population residing in five localities.

“Of the 83 percent of individuals in our study who had common cold coronavirus exposure, we found that their T cells cross-reacted to SARS-CoV-2, hinting at the fact that people who have been exposed to these genetically related coronaviruses have immune responses that may be protecting them from future SARS-CoV-2 infections,” said Bobby Brooke Herrera, an assistant professor of global health at Rutgers Global Health Institute and a lead author of the study along with Sulaimon Akanmu of Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. To read the full story.