Rio De Janeiro, September 22: At a time when the world continues to grapple under the threat of coronavirus, a new study has suggested that previous exposure to dengue may provide an individual a certain level of immunity against COVID-19. According to a report by Reuters, the study analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil and revealed that it has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever. The study reveals that exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against the coronavirus infection. It found that regions with low infection rates for COVID-19 had seen dengue outbreaks in the past few years.

The study was conducted by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, who examined the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil. The report states that the 'not yet published study' led by Nicolelis compared the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases with spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020. The professor   established a relationship between dengue outbreaks and a slower spread of COVID-19 in various parts of Latin America, Asia and other islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. COVID-19 Likely to Become a Seasonal Disease in Countries With Temperate Climates, Say Scientists.

The findings of the study revealed the possibility of the cross-reactivity between dengue's Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2. It added saying that there is a significant correlation between lower incidence, mortality, and growth rate of COVID-19 in populations in Brazil, where the levels of antibodies to dengue were higher.

The report informs that if this hypothesis is proven correct, it would mean that dengue infection or immunisation with an safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection. Nicolelis told Reuters that the results are interesting as some previous studies have shown that people with dengue antibodies in their blood can test falsely positive for COVID-19 even if the coronavirus has never infected them.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 22, 2020 06:53 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website