<img src="https://trc.taboola.com/1321591/log/3/unip?en=page_view" width="0" height="0" style="display:none">
Fact Check Library

Fact Check with Logically.

Download the Free App Today

Partly_True
partly true

CLAIM ID

a5578f63

Your immune system may already recognise the Coronavirus.

A few studies show that 20-50% of people might harbor immunity assassins called T cells that recognize Covid-19, although further research is needed.

When a virus infects a body for the first time, the response is slow as it takes several days for the immune system to sort out which T cells must be triggered to fight the virus. But subsequent encounters typically prompt a stronger and faster response due to a reserve force of T cells, called memory T cells. Memory T cells linger after the initial threat has passed and can quickly be called into action again. A growing body of evidence, including data, published points to common-cold coronaviruses as a potential source, and even unrelated viruses can share similar features, leading to T cells recognizing Covid-19 without the body ever contracting it before.

A paper published in the science journal Nature studied the pre-existing memory of T cells in humans with the potential to recognize SARS-CoV-2. They first studied T cell responses to structural (nucleocapsid protein, NP) and non-structural (NSP-7 and NSP13 of ORF1) regions of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 convalescents (n=36). In all of them, they demonstrated the presence of CD4 and CD8 T cells, recognizing multiple areas of the NP protein.

Another study published in Science Immunology shows potential variations in T cell response. According to the paper, scientists studied ten patients with COVID-19 who required admission to an intensive care unit and detected SARS-CoV-2–specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in 10 of 10 and 8 of 10 patients, respectively. They also detected low levels of SARS-CoV-2–reactive T cells in 2 of 10 healthy controls not previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, which indicates cross-reactivity due to past infection with common cold coronaviruses. The strongest T cell responses were directed to the spike (S) surface glycoprotein, and SARS-CoV-2–specific T cells predominantly produced effector and T helper 1 (TH1) cytokines, although TH2 and TH17 cytokines were also detected.

Therefore, there is growing evidence that T cells could recognize the new coronavirus without the cells having never encountered it before; however, more research is needed to understand its influence on the immune response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

Have a question or correction?

Please tell us if you think this claim had been misjudged or requires correction by sending us evidence to support your error claim. We will revisit our evidence and verdict and do some additional research to double check if we can verify the new information

Fact Check of the Day

false

Top medical regulators in the U.S., EU and U.K. are resigning over the experimental mRNA COVID vaccines.