The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, responsible for the COVID-19 disease, has been found to be “weaker” than the rhinoviruses responsible for the common cold.
A team of British scientists from the University of Glasgow found that the common rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, is stronger than Covid-19.
Many viruses are very selfish and tend to drive out competitors from infected cells. Among these are influenza viruses.
In their experiment, the scientists took a copy of the mucous membrane of the airways and staged a “battle” between SARS-CoV-2 and rhinoviruses.
It has been found that the rhinovirus successfully inhibits the coronavirus if the infection occurs at the same time.
Another infection showed similar results, but this time SARS-CoV-2 was 24 hours ahead. Despite this, the rhinovirus was even stronger.
When the rhinovirus got a head start for 24 hours, the coronavirus didn’t stand a chance at all.
“Sars-CoV-2 never takes off, it is strongly inhibited by rhinovirus. This is absolutely exciting because if you have a high prevalence of rhinovirus it could stop further Sars-CoV-2 infections, ”said Dr Pablo Murcia.
Further research showed that the reason for this phenomenon was that cold viruses triggered intracellular immunity, which blocked the ability of the coronavirus to reproduce.
However, when the immune response to the common cold wore off, cells became vulnerable to COVID-19 again.
The results of the to study have been published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.