THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Children have largely been spared extreme COVID-19 an infection, and new analysis hints at why.
In the examine, kids’s immune techniques attacked the new coronavirus sooner and extra aggressively than adults’ immune techniques did, the findings confirmed.
The researchers analyzed blood samples from 48 kids and 70 adults who lived in 28 households in Melbourne, Australia, and who had been contaminated with, or uncovered to, the coronavirus. The individuals’ immune responses had been assessed through the acute section of an infection and for as much as two months after that.
Children had a stronger immune response to the virus than adults, in line with the report printed on-line Feb. 17 within the journal Nature Communications.
“Coronavirus infection in children was characterized by activation of neutrophils, the specialized white blood cell that helps heal damaged tissues and resolves infections, and a reduction in first-responder immune cells such as monocytes, dendritic cells and natural killer cells from the blood,” stated examine creator Melanie Neeland, of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
“This suggests these infection-fighting immune cells are migrating to infection sites, quickly clearing the virus before it has a chance to really take hold,” she stated in an institute information launch.
The findings confirmed that “the innate immune system, our first line of defense against germs, is crucial to prevent severe COVID-19 in children. Importantly, this immune reaction was not replicated among adults in the study,” Neeland stated.
The researchers additionally discovered that kids and adults who had been uncovered to, however examined unfavorable for, the coronavirus additionally had altered immune responses.
“Both kids and adults had increased neutrophil numbers, out to seven weeks after exposure to the virus, which could have provided a level of protection from disease,” Neeland stated.
Until now, it hasn’t been clear why kids are likely to have milder COVID-19 than adults, in line with the researchers.
“Children are less likely to become infected with the virus and up to a third are asymptomatic, which is strikingly different to the higher prevalence and severity observed in children for most other respiratory viruses,” Neeland stated.
“Understanding the underlying age-related differences in the severity of COVID-19 will provide important insights and opportunities for prevention and treatment, both for COVID-19 and possible future pandemics,” she added.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has extra on COVID-19.
SOURCE: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, information launch, Feb. 17, 2021