In many areas around the United States, temperatures are beginning to cool as we enter the Fall season. Although many people may be celebrating the end of summer heat waves (I for one won't miss the hot New York City subway platforms), some people may fear that cooling temperatures may bring along the sniffles. The common cold is no party, but is a vaccine for the common cold necessary? According to a recent study, a vaccine could possibly be in the works.
According to a report by Live Science, a study published in journal Nature Communications last week revealed that experimental vaccines for the common cold, called rhinovirus, were given to mice and monkeys. The results of the study indicated that the mice and monkeys were given two separate versions of a rhinovirus vaccine. Apparently, both the mice and monkeys produced antibodies to all strains of rhinovirus that were present in the vaccine, Live Science reported.
But vaccines for the common cold may not be a common conversation for many, so I'm sure many people would want to know how necessary having a common cold vaccine would be.
The U.S National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, released a report in 2013 describing the difficulty in developing a vaccine for the common cold, and whether or not it would be helpful for otherwise healthy people:
The common cold is a spontaneously remitting infection of the upper respiratory tract, [characterized] by a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, malaise, sore throat and fever (usually < 37.8˚C). The widespread morbidity it causes worldwide is related to its ubiquitousness rather than its severity.The development of vaccines for the common cold has been difficult because of antigenic variability of the common cold virus and the indistinguishable multiple other viruses and even bacteria acting as infective agents. There is uncertainty regarding the efficacy and safety of interventions for preventing the common cold in healthy people.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention revealed information about flu vaccines and its effectiveness: the CDC report suggested that symptoms for the common cold can at times be confused with flu symptoms, since it's a virus that "can also cause flu-like symptoms." But the CDC noted that flu vaccines have not and do not protect against the rhinovirus.
"Flu vaccines do NOT protect against infection and illness caused by other viruses that can also cause flu-like symptoms. There are many other viruses besides flu viruses that can result in flu-like illness..." the CDC reported.
There have been many discussions surrounding possible vaccines for the common cold throughout the years. As Live Science reported, the common cold produces multiple strains of a virus. But apparently, the recent study proved to be somewhat of a breakthrough, since the mice and monkeys produced multiple types of antibodies that prevented the virus from infecting human cells in petri dishes. (Live Science also noted that the researchers reportedly didn't infect the animals with the common cold to see how the vaccine would protect against the virus.)
It's certainly an interesting study, only time will tell if this affects the potential invention of vaccines for the common cold in the future.