Scientists have solved the mystery of immunity of residents of the Italian island of Giglio to COVID-19

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Scientists have studied the mystery of the Italian island of Giglio, none of whose residents have not fallen ill with coronavirus. The results of a study on the topic appeared on medRxiv.

During the first wave of the pandemic COVID-19 to the island repeatedly infected people from the mainland, plus the islanders did not adhere to the social distance. But despite this, there were no reported cases of COVID-19 among the residents of Giglio. What is the reason for this strange phenomenon? Scientists at the University of Milan, whose group was led by Antonio Bognanni, decided to look into the question.

In late April – early May, the scientists conducted a large-scale serological study in which all residents of the island (634 people) and visitors to the island tested for antibodies, and also subjected their biomaterials to PCR-tests. In the end, IgM antibodies were detected in only one resident who had arrived on Giglio shortly before – he carried the coronavirus without symptoms. Two other people had a positive PCR test, but they also had no symptoms of coronavirus.

The researchers decided that the surprising phenomenon was due to at least two factors. First, the air on the island is extremely clean, so the spread of infection is hampered by the absence of contaminating particles. Second, the islanders are presumably immune to a closely related endemic coronavirus that causes the common cold.