Jen asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 9 years ago

why we do not develop immunity to the common cold?

Adenoviruses are a group responsible for ailments such as the common cold. These are fairly simple viruses that can replicate fairly quickly. The normal human response to more complex viruses is to develop a strong immunity to future infections. However, people get colds all the time, sometimes to or three times a year. What characteristics of viral replication may help to explain why we do not develop immunity to the common cold?

4 Answers

  • JayM
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    There are a couple of reasons.

    First, common colds are caused by a number of different families of viruses, including Adenoviruses, Rhinoviruses, and Influenza viruses. Immunity to one family of viruses does not protect against the other families of viruses.

    Second, within the Adenovirus and Rhinovirus families, there are many different serotypes of viruses, and, again, immunity to Rhinovirus serotype 1 does not protect against any of the other 100 or so Rhinovirus serotypes. Same with Adenoviruses.

    With influenza viruses, the virus envelope contains a molecule called Hemagglutinin which is required for the virus to enter cells. This protein mutates regularly, so antibodies against last year virus might not protect against this year's virus.

    But these are not functions of virus replication but rather are functions of genomic diversity within virus families.

  • 9 years ago

    Viruses caused by the common cold can replicate very quickly. Because of this, many times mutations or "miscopies" of the gentic information happens. This causes the virus to mutate. Because these mutations happen frequently, there are thousands of different forms of the human cold. We might develop immunity to one form but be infected by the same virus just a different form the next month. Hope this helps!

  • 4 years ago

    Mono and chicken pox wont mutate, common cold, influenza changes all of the time. Not a stupid question if you've never asked anyone

  • Greg
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The cold virus constantly mutates. After a cold, you become immune to that strain. You never catch the same cold twice.

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