Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, experts have been trying to figure out how the virus affects children. They have been tracking different cases to see the severity of the disease in kids as well as its complications and long-lasting effects.
As the unpredictable nature of the disease which is confusing, the results are contradictory sometimes.
Thus researchers from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in the US have found that children and adults produce different types and amounts of antibodies in response to novel coronavirus infection.
Once you recover from a certain illness, antibodies are formed in the body and these offer a certain amount of immunity against the disease for a certain period.
The study suggested that the differences in antibodies affect the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection and an immune response is distinct in children and most children easily clear the virus from their bodies, the study published in the journal Nature Immunology reported.
Kids Cope Better Than Adults With COVID-19 Infection
According to researchers, this study provides an in-depth examination of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in kids, revealing a stark contrast with adults. The infection in kids’, the course is much shorter than and probably not as spread as in adults.
Kids may clear this virus more efficiently than adults and they may not need a strong antibody immune response to get rid of it. One of the striking signs of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the majority of children cope well with the virus while older people have to struggle.
Mild As Well As Severe Cases Resulted In Same Antibody Profile
The study showed, among the 47 children, 16 were treated for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C and 31 children of similar ages had tested positive for the virus after visiting the medical center for the treatment of other conditions. Half of the children without MIS-C had no COVID-19 symptoms.
The 32 adults in the study ranged from severely affected patients admitted to the hospital to those with the milder disease who recovered at home. The study found, both groups of children produced the same antibody profile, which differed from that of adults.
Antibodies Produced Are Much Less Too
When compared with adults, children produced fewer antibodies against the virus’s spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells. The children’s antibodies had the least neutralizing activity, while all adults, including young adults in their 20s, produced neutralizing antibodies. The severe adults were found with the most neutralizing activity.
In comparison to adults, children produced very few antibodies against a viral protein that is only visible to the immune system after the virus infects human cells. Hence, the study suggested that in kids, the infection doesn’t spread a lot and doesn’t kill a lot of their cells.
The researchers stated the antibody responses found in children do not suggest that children will have a weaker response to a vaccine.