The common cold - in summary, an acute upper respiratory tract viral infection - is one of the most frequent viral infections in humans and can be caused by about 200 viral types [Eccles (2005)]. Symptoms are thought to be caused by the immune response in the host, rather than by actual damage caused by the virus [(Hendley (1998)].
My question: is there a correlation between the symptoms observed during a common cold and the viral type that causes the infection? Of course, one can find out the cause of the infection diagnostically by taking samples and isolating DNA or setting up cultures, but that is not my question. My question is whether it is possible to predict the virus taxon causing the infection by symptoms.
My prediction from the information I have at hand is that it should, at least in tendency, be possible as different infections agents use different infection pathways that in return invoke different immune responses and, finally, symptoms [Eccles and Weber, ed. p. 107 - 147 (2009)]. However, I found a rather dated article by Tyrrell et al. (1993) that analyses infections caused by several rhinovirus strains, a coronavirus, and of the respiratory syncytial virus (virus taxa among the most common infectious agents for common colds). They conclude that
the main difference between colds induced by different viruses is in duration of the incubation period, whereas
patterns of symptom development were not substantially different with different viruses. So is this the current state-of-the-art?