Supporting the claim that low temperatures can lead to the common cold, a recent study has indicated that cooler conditions allow the rhinovirus to more easily replicate by weakening the body’s immune system. The study, published online January 5, 2015, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, compared the immune response to rhinovirus of cells taken from the airways of mice at 37ºC (or core body temperature) with that of cells at 33ºC.
The research team found that the innate immune response to rhinovirus was impaired at the lower temperature. To the study authors, this suggests that low temperatures have a direct influence on the body’s immune response rather than the actual virus.
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