Why do we need snot and cold viruses – says microbiologist

The main place of

The main place of “life activity” of rhinoviruses is the nose


During the cold season, rhinoviruses are a common cause of illness. Signs of rhinovirus are a runny nose and nasal congestion, a “heavy head” and headache. But it turns out that rhinoviruses can serve us well in the face of an increase in the incidence of coronavirus infection and a runny nose is, in general, good and useful. Microbiologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor at George Mason University (Virginia, USA) and Chief Researcher at the Medical Genetic Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Moscow) Ancha Baranova told in her telegram channelwhy banal snot can serve for the benefit of humanity in a covid pandemic.

The main place of “life activity” of rhinoviruses is the nose. For many viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the nose is just an entrance gate, and for rhinoviruses it is a habitat. Rhinoviruses cause a state of general soreness and congestion, which often occurs without fever, says the microbiologist. Plus, headaches.

The rhinovirus causes an IgA response (immunoglobulin A antibodies) and an interferon response (protective proteins against the virus) is also purely in the nose area, and in addition to this, in response to the rhinovirus, a lot of mucus or snot appears in the nose.

– In fact, when there is snot, it’s good, – says Ancha Baranova. “That’s a great thing, because snot is polysaccharides attached to proteins that make everything very viscous. New arrived virus – he can’t get through it. Snot is needed in order to remove all the accumulated virus with blowing out in order to quickly stop it all. And plus, when our nose is clogged with snot, there is practically no possibility for a new virus to fly there.

In addition, the passage of abundant mucus into the throat, in a certain sense, protects the throat, the scientist says. If there is a lot of mucus in the throat, then this, of course, is unpleasant, but then the virus has nowhere to “sit down” there.

“Together, snot and the interferon response of the body are able to “close the bridgehead” so that other viruses simply do not appear,” says Ancha Baranova. – And there are articles, studies that directly show that the rhinovirus is in antagonism (in confrontation – ed.) with the coronavirus. That is, when you have a nose full of snot and when there is an interferon response caused by the multiplication of the rhinovirus, it is more difficult for the coronavirus to land there. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but harder. So for some reason these cold viruses can be useful to us in this case.

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