Beijing, November 9th. “Reference News” published on the 8th the US “New York Times” website report “Studies show that children have weaker antibodies to the new coronavirus.” The summary is as follows:
A recent study published in the British Journal of “Nature Immunology” shows that the antibodies produced by children infected with the new coronavirus are weaker than adults, and there are fewer types of antibodies. This shows that children clear the virus faster than adults.
Previous studies have shown that excessively strong immune responses may be the cause of critical illness and even death in some patients with new coronary disease.
A weaker immune response in children means that they have eliminated the new coronavirus before it has a chance to wreak havoc, which may help explain why children rarely suffer from severe illness. This may also explain why children are less likely to transmit the virus.
Researchers from Columbia University and other institutions analyzed the new coronavirus antibodies in four groups of patients: 19 adult donors of recovered plasma who had recovered without being hospitalized, and 13 adult hospitalized patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to the new coronavirus. Sixteen children were admitted to the hospital for multiple system inflammatory syndrome and 31 children who had no symptoms.
The results showed that the infected people in all groups developed antibodies. However, there are differences in the types of antibodies in children and adults.
Children mainly produce IgG antibodies that can recognize the spike protein of the new coronavirus. In contrast, adults have produced a variety of antibodies against spike proteins and other viral proteins, and these antibodies are also more capable of inhibiting viruses.
Donna Farber, Columbia University, who led the research, said: “Children’s protective response is relatively low, and the range of antibody response is relatively small. This is because children are not severely infected.”
None of the children in the two groups produced antibodies against the viral nucleocapsid protein. The nucleocapsid protein is located around the genetic material of the virus.
Because it is inside the virus and not on the surface of the virus like the spike protein, the human immune system will only find the nucleocapsid protein when the virus is spreading in large numbers and produce corresponding antibodies. .
Farber explained: “The absence of these antibodies in children indicates that the course of the disease after infection is relatively short.”
This finding may question the detection methods for antibodies to nucleocapsid protein. Many of the antibody tests provided by some companies are specifically for nucleocapsid protein antibodies, so children who have successfully cleared the virus may be missed.