Why do we need snot and cold viruses – says microbiologist

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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


During the cold season, rhinoviruses are a common cause of illness. Signs of rhinovirus include a runny and stuffy nose, a “heavy head” and headache. But it turns out that rhinoviruses can serve us well in light of an increase in the incidence of coronavirus infections, and a runny nose is generally good and helpful. Microbiologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor at George Mason University (Virginia, USA) and Principal Investigator 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 the good of humanity in a covid pandemic.

The main site of “life activity” of rhinoviruses is the nose. For many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the nose is just a gateway, and for rhinoviruses, it’s habitat. Rhinoviruses cause a state of generalized pain and congestion, which often occurs without a fever, the microbiologist says. In addition, headache.

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

– In fact, if there is snot, it’s good, – says Ancha Baranova. “That’s great, because snot is a polysaccharide that is attached to proteins that make everything very viscous. Newly arrived virus – he can’t get through. Snot is needed to clear all the accumulated virus with blowing out to stop it all quickly. And besides, if 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 in the throat in a way protects the throat, says the scientist. If there is a lot of mucus in the throat, then this is of course unpleasant, but then the virus has nowhere to “sit”.

“Together, snot and the body’s interferon response can ‘close the bridgehead’ so that other viruses simply don’t show up,” 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 your nose is full of snot and when there is an interferon reaction caused by the multiplication of the rhinovirus, it is more difficult for the coronavirus to land there. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just harder. So for some reason these cold viruses can be useful for us in this case.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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