A new study that analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever, suggesting exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against COVID-19.
The study led by Duke School of Medicine Professor in Neuroscience Miguel Nicolelis found that regions of Brazil with lower coronavirus infection rates – or SARS-CoV-2 - had also suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last.
Dengue is an illness contracted from mosquitos most often in Latin America, Asia, and some of the Pacific and Indian Ocean nations.
The team found a similar relationship between dengue and slower COVID-19 spread across those regions too.
The study is being published ahead of a peer review and was shared exclusively with Reuters.
Professor Nicolelis says the findings imply that an infection from dengue or even a safe dengue vaccine could produce protection from the coronavirus.
He also noted that previous studies have shown people with dengue antibodies can test falsely positive for COVID-19 antibodies, even if they were never infected.