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The Common Cold

Megan megan at ucla.edu
Wed Apr 16 11:34:54 EST 1997

At 02:45 PM 4/9/97, you wrote:
>Is it possible to catch the same cold twice.  Well probably, but 
>unlikely in an otherwise healthy individual.  Most colds are caused by 
>Rhinoviruses, which are members of the picornavirus family.  While these 
>viruses are RNA viruses, their mutation rate it not very high.  
>Therefore, if a person gets over a cold caused by Rhinovirus A, and then 
>is re-exposed soon after, it is unlikely that the individual will become 
>re-infected.  Immuity is strong against these viruses, and would be 
>expected to confer significant protection against re-infection, at least 
>over the short term.
>Jay Mone'

This may theoretically be true (about not being likely to catch the same
virus twice), however in my lab, where we regularly work with poliovirus
(another picornavirus related to rhino) and one person works with rhinovirus
occasionally, he has in the last few years come down with cold symptoms,
sometimes quite bad, usually just after he has been using rhinovirus.  He is
otherwise pretty healthy.  Could be a coincidence, but then again...
remember, these are frozen stocks of virus, which should not be able to
mutate in the freezer!

just a thought!

Megan Igo
megan at ucla.edu

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