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Is inducing a limited infection in the nose the most effective way to trigger immunity to the common cold?
Approximately 95% of the immunoglobulin produced in the nasal mucous membrane is produced locally. Robert B. Couch, MD, Kennedy Institute, Baltimore, in a review of the scientific literature pertaining to the common cold, concludes that inducing such an infection may be the best way to provide cold immunity (J Infect Dis 1984;150:167-175).
It is here that the "catch-22" of cold virus research enters the picture, however. Oral administration of an antiviral drug delivers it to all the tissues, but a dosage large enough to be clinically effective often elicits unacceptable adverse effects, including mucosal irritation and pronounced lymphocytic cell infiltration. For a common cold vaccine or antiviral drug to be most effective, it seems to be necessary to introduce it directly into the nasal passage. But because the nasal cilia are
Raymond CA. Various 'cold warriors' tested against viruses. JAMA. 1986;255(3):304–305. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370030018005