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SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity in individuals with prior seasonal coronavirus infection.

By Saurabh Gombar, Timothy Bergquist, Vikas Pejaver, Noah Hammarlund, Kanagavel Murugesan, Sean Mooney, Nigam Shah, Benjamin A. Pinsky, Niaz Banaei

Posted 07 Dec 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.04.20243741

A sizable fraction of healthy blood donors have cross-reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 peptides due to prior infection with seasonal coronavirus. Understanding the role of cross-reactive T cells in immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has implications for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We show that individuals with documented history of seasonal coronavirus have a similar SARS-CoV-2 infection rate and COVID-19 severity as those with no prior history of seasonal coronavirus. Our findings suggest prior infection with seasonal coronavirus does not provide immunity to subsequent infection with SARS-CoV-2.

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