Some people aren’t infected – new study results surprise

T cells in the blood could be responsible for the fact that some people are not infected with corona.

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Of: Jennifer Koellen


Many people know it: your partner or your child has Omikron, but you stay healthy yourself. How is it possible ? The experts have the answer.

London – The same scenario is playing out in many German homes: A family member was infected with Corona or omicron in the office or kindergarten and is now sneezing and coughing all over the apartment. The sick person has to be quarantined, everyone is busy doing rapid tests or even PCR – and they remain negative despite mild symptoms. Although people who are not infected with Corona and who are called novids are exposed to the viral load all day during the first contact. How is it possible ? Why are some people not infected with Corona?

Corona: This is why some people are not infected – new study results are surprising

Scientists have various explanations for why some people are not infected with Corona. According to studies, the following factors could influence an infection with Omikron or another corona variant:

  • Genoa
  • antibodies (T cells)
  • blood group 0

Why are some people not infected with Corona? One of the reasons is the genes

Some researchers speculate that our genes could be responsible for the fact that some people are not infected with Corona. A UK team led by Professor Christopher Chiu is also planning further “human challenge studies” (see below). “There are people who, due to genetic characteristics, are difficult to infect, for example malaria or HIV. To some extent, this will also apply to Sars-CoV-2,” says Leif Erik Sander, head of the clinic for infectious diseases at Charité Berlin. German press agency. However, genetic factors are not fully understood.

Corona: People were voluntarily infected for the controversial “Human Challenge Project”.

Researchers from Great Britain have also investigated why some people are not infected with Corona. You recently published the results of your study. The “Human Challenge Project” had already been widely discussed in February 2021.

Because 36 people in Great Britain had voluntarily exposed themselves to the corona virus: Scientists at Imperial College London had dripped a small amount of one of the first variants of the virus into the noses of the test participants. The news magazine reports The mirror. The dose was just high enough to cause an infection. At that time, many critics asked the question: is it ethically and morally acceptable to infect people so that we can better protect others?

Why are some not infected with Corona? They have corresponding T cells

Fortunately, the 36 subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 survived the infection well. Not obvious, as they had neither been vaccinated before nor infected before – with the exception of two, who were later excluded from the series of tests. The other 34 were closely monitored medically for two weeks and then observed for a further 12 months.

The interesting thing: only 18 people tested were infected with Corona. The other 16, or almost half, remained healthy and did not develop an infection. You are one of the people who are not infected with Corona. However, many of them temporarily tested positive for low concentrations of the virus, as reported by the British newspaper ‘Guardian’. So you had the virus in your body, but the PCR test didn’t work. But why?

T cells in the blood could be responsible for the fact that some people are not infected with corona. © Moritz Frankenberg/Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/Sergio Monti/Felix Schlikis/imago/Editing

The explanation of the study leader, Professor Christopher Chiu: “Virus levels have not increased enough to trigger detectable levels of antibodies, T cells or inflammatory factors in the blood.”

This is probably exactly what happens to many people who are currently certain they have been infected by someone, sneezing and coughing a bit – but repeatedly have negative rapid or even PCR tests.

Colds also have something good: under certain circumstances they protect against a Corona infection

But why do these people manage not to have Corona? Do they have a particularly good immune system? At least there is a high probability that they have already been in contact with certain corona viruses, as another study shows.

Researchers from University College London examined 52 people who had direct contact with someone infected with Covid-19. Only half of them were infected. The researchers also found T cells in the blood samples of these test participants.

T cells, also called T cells, are white blood cells that are part of the adaptive immune system. They work like antibodies but are less specific. This means that they also react to viruses similar to those they already know.

This is important because: Anyone who ever had a cold with a corona virus before the pandemic (these harmless corona viruses have been around for a long time) now has T cells in their body. These, in turn, can render “bad” Covid-19 viruses harmless when floating around in the body.

A hand holds a negative rapid corona test (symbol image)
Some people are not infected with Corona so quickly – even if they have direct contact with it. (Iconic image) © Ramon Lopez/imago

Scientists point out that vaccination remains the most effective way to protect against corona

Incidentally, T cells remember pathogens for a long time. Anyone who has appropriate T cells in their body is therefore protected for longer.

Did you often catch colds before Corona and now you feel safe? Please don’t.

Private lecturer Dr. Juliane Walz, who studies T cells at Tübingen University Hospital, told the news magazine Der Spiegel: “It’s not just about whether T cells are present or not, it also depends on the number and quality of T cells “This means that in some people, T cells can prevent symptomatic developments, but not in others. Therefore, scientists of all studies emphasize that it should not be relied upon. The best protection against Covid-19 remains complete vaccination, including a booster.

Corona study proves that’s why people with blood type 0 are less likely to get infected

But our genes or our blood group can also influence whether we are sensitive to corona or not. Researchers from the University of Graz discovered it. For their study, the scientists evaluated the data of 399 corona patients who had to be treated in hospital because of the virus.

The surprising result: blood group AB was found significantly more frequently in people infected with corona. “The results of our study show that people with blood group 0 have a statistically significantly lower probability of contracting Covid-19 than people with blood group A, B or AB,” explained study leader Thomas Wagner. in a press release. Means: If you have blood group 0, you are less likely to be infected with Corona. The emphasis is on the word “could”. You shouldn’t count on it.

Corona: Why aren’t people infected with omicron? Blood group 0 protects

As The mirror reports, a recent French study supports this hypothesis. “According to the results, people with blood type 0 could transmit the virus particularly easily, but the likelihood of them infecting others decreases.” The mirror.

Data analysis showed that people with blood group A have a higher risk of corona, people with blood group 0 have a lower risk than the average population.

The aim of many of these research results is to be able to better protect people against corona in the future, also through the development of new drugs. Until then, many people will probably think: no matter how and why – the main thing is that you are healthy.

Anyone who is still infected with Corona should get all the information about the predominant Omicron Corona variant and the incubation period and symptoms.

++Transparency note: This article was first published on March 10, 2022 and was supplemented with ongoing studies on May 19, 2022.++

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