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SARS-CoV-2 coinfections: Could influenza and the common cold be beneficial?

Abstract

The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread around the world, causing serious illness and death and creating a heavy burden on the healthcare systems of many countries. Since the virus first emerged in late November 2019, its spread has coincided with peak circulation of several seasonal respiratory viruses, yet some studies have noted limited coinfections between SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. We use a mathematical model of viral coinfection to study SARS-CoV-2 coinfections, finding that SARS-CoV-2 replication is easily suppressed by many common respiratory viruses. According to our model, this suppression is because SARS-CoV-2 has a lower growth rate (1.8/d) than the other viruses examined in this study. The suppression of SARS-CoV-2 by other pathogens could have implications for the timing and severity of a second wave.

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Citation:

Pinky L, Dobrovolny HM. (2020). SARS-CoV-2 coinfections: Could influenza and the common cold be beneficial?. Journal of medical virology, 92(11)