A study conducted by researchers at Duke University, North Carolina, has claimed that previous exposure to Dengue fever provides immunity against the Coronavirus infection.
Over the course of the study, the Duke University researchers compared the geographic distribution of the Coronavirus cases primarily across Brazil with the spread of Dengue in 2019 and 2020.
It was revealed that the areas with low COVID-19 cases and slow infection rates had witnessed severe Dengue outbreaks during 2019 and 2020.
Moreover, the areas where the populations had higher levels of antibodies against Dengue fever reported a lower COVID-19 mortality rate as well.
According to Miguel Nicolelis, Professor at Duke University and lead author of the study, this gives rise to the possibility of similarity between the antibodies of Dengue fever and Coronavirus infection.
This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2.
If this hypothesis is proven correct, it could mean that an effective Dengue virus vaccine can generate immunity against the COVID-19 infection as well, Nicolelis added.
The lead author has termed the findings of the study as astonishing because none of the researchers were expecting any immunological cross-reactivity between the viruses given the fact that they belong to completely different families.
Besides Brazil, the Duke University researchers have found a similar relationship between intense previous Dengue outbreaks and a slower rate of Coronavirus transmission in other parts of Latin America and Asia.