what is the role of cold in their appearance?

Can you really “catch a cold”? Strictly speaking no, but temperatures affect our immune system.

Earlier this week the magazine Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported the results of an American study.

She describes in detail how low temperatures attack our immune system, making us more vulnerable to winter illnesses.

“Getting a cold”: An unpublished explanation

According to Stanford University rhinologist Zara Patel, “This is the first time we have a biological and molecular explanation for a factor in our innate immune response that appears to be limited by lower temperatures.”.

So, according to this study, a drop in temperature of 5 degrees inside the nose will kill almost 50% of the cells that fight against viruses and bacteria in the nasal cavity.

Extracellular vesicles

Concrete? When a virus ventures into our noses, nasal cells release countless extracellular vesicles (EVs), which form a cloud of tiny particles that attack invaders during inhalation.

Bacteria and viruses attach themselves to these very sticky vesicles before being expelled by the nasal mucus. The study adds that the nose is a formidable weapon. Indeed, it multiplies the production of these EVs by 160% when attacked. It contains a virus killer, micro-RNA, which is present 13 times more than in the rest of the body.

And when the temperatures drop?

When the nasal cells are in an environment at 4°C, more than 40% of the extracellular vesicles are destroyed. In fact, we are less able to defend ourselves against bacteria and viruses.

The next ? Mansoor Amiji, lead author of the study, sums up: “This is an area of ​​research that interests us enormously, and we will undoubtedly continue on this path”. Because treatments that stimulate the production of these EVs would make it possible to fight many diseases more effectively, including Covid.

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