A new study analyzing the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil found a link between the spread of the virus and past dengue outbreaks, suggesting that exposure to mosquito-borne diseases may provide a certain level of immunity against Covid-19.
The unpublished research led by Professor Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University is only related to Reuters, Compared the geographical distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue fever in 2019 and 2020.
Nicolelis found that the places with lower Covid-19 infection rates and slower increase in cases are places that suffered from dengue outbreaks this year or last year.
The study pointed out that “this surprising discovery increases the possibility of immune cross-reactions between the dengue flavivirus serotype and SARS-CoV-2,”
It added: “If it proves to be correct, the hypothesis may mean that dengue infection or immunization with an effective and safe dengue vaccine can produce a certain degree of immune protection against the coronavirus.”
Nicolelis told Reuters This result is particularly interesting because previous studies have shown that even people who have never been infected with the coronavirus can have a false positive test for Covid-19 antibodies in people with dengue antibodies in their blood.
Nicolelis said: “This shows that there is an immune interaction between the two viruses, which is unpredictable by anyone, because these two viruses come from completely different families.” He added that further studies are needed to prove this. Kind of connection.
The research has been published before being peer reviewed on the MedRxiv preprint server and will be submitted to scientific journals.
It highlights the significant correlation between the lower incidence, death rate and the growth rate of Covid-19 among the population with higher dengue antibody levels in Brazil.
The total number of Covid-19 infections in Brazil ranks third in the world, with more than 4.4 million cases, second only to the United States and India.
In states such as Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Minas Gerais, the incidence of dengue fever was high last year and early this year. In contrast, it took longer for Covid-19 to reach states with high levels of community transmission with fewer dengue cases, such as Amapa, Maranan, and Para.
The research team found a similar relationship between the dengue outbreak and the slower spread of Covid-19 in other parts of Latin America, Asia, and islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Nicolelis said his team stumbled upon dengue fever in a study of how Covid-19 spread in Brazil, and they discovered that highways play an important role in the country’s case distribution.
After identifying certain locations on the map without cases, the team began to look for possible explanations. When the research team compared the spread of dengue fever with the spread of coronavirus, a breakthrough was made.
“This is shocking. This is a complete accident,” Nicholas said. “In science, this happens when you shoot at one thing and hit a target you never thought you would hit.”