A new study conducted by Duke University has found a link between the spread of the coronavirus and past outbreaks of dengue fever in Brazil. The analysed study was carried in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak of Brazil. According to the research, the dengue antibodies may provide some level of immunity against the Covid-19.
Miguel Nicolelis, professor of Duke University, led the study which is yet to be published. The study shared with Reuters has compared the geographicsl distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.
Nicolelis found out that the places with a lower rate of coronavirus infection and slower growth of the cases were locations that had suffered severe dengue outbreaks in this year or last year. Researchers have emphasized on the significant relation between mortality and growth rate of COVID-19 infection among the people in Brazil, where the levels of antibodies of dengue are much higher.
The findings indicated the possibility of an immunological interaction between the dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2, even though both the virus are very different from each other. Reuters quoted the study, saying, “If proven correct, the hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection against the coronavirus.”
As per the previous studies, many suggested that people with dengue antibodies may be tested falsely positive for COVID-19 antibodies without being actually infected by the coronavirus. The team also found a similar correlation between the dengue outbreaks and the slower spread of COVID-19 in other parts of Latin America, Asia and islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Nicolelis explained that his team discovered the dengue relation by accident during a study on how COVID-19 had spread through Brazil. They also found out that highways play a major role in the distribution of cases across the country.