Study discovers why Covid impacted some children more than others

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New Delhi, India Updated: May 02, 2022, 09:42 PM(IST)

Now, a study published in the journal Nature Communications claims to have discovered pathways that are activated in these severe cases in children. This advancement has the potential of leading to an earlier diagnosis and can also enable targeted treatments. Photograph:( AFP )

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As per the researchers, the main triggers were blood-clotting and the immune system protein's reaction to the virus

Even while the coronavirus wreaked devastation on the world, there was one minor fact that gave some consolation to people all across the world: it didn't have a particularly adverse effect on children.

However, doctors were soon perplexed by uncommon and severe responses to the virus in certain children. Symptoms included lung disease, blood clotting, heart damage, inflammation of the brain and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a type of lung disease.

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Now, a study published in the journal Nature Communications claims to have discovered pathways that are activated in these severe cases in children.

This advancement has the potential of leading to an earlier diagnosis and can also enable targeted treatments.

As per the researchers, the main triggers were blood-clotting and the immune system protein's reaction to the virus.

"Children are in general less susceptible to COVID-19 and present with milder symptoms, but it remained unclear what caused some to develop very severe disease," said Conor McCafferty, a PhD student at the Australia's University of Melbourne.

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According to PTI, McCafferty also claims, that their study was the first to identify the exact blood clotting and immunological protein pathways damaged in youngsters.

Blood samples from 20 healthy children and 33 SARS-CoV-2 infected children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome or acute respiratory distress syndrome were collected for the study.

It discovered that 85 proteins were unique to multisystem inflammatory disease and 52 proteins were unique to acute respiratory distress syndrome, respectively. Severe COVID-19 has the potential to cause both disorders.

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ccording to Professor Vera Ignjatovic of Australia's Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI),"the results provided an understanding of the processes that underly severe COVID-19 in children, which would help in the development of diagnostic tests for early identification of children at risk, as well as therapeutic targets to improve the outcomes for those with severe cases." 

"Knowing the mechanisms associated with severe COVID-19 in children and how the blood clotting and immune systems in children react to the virus will help diagnose and detect acute COVID-19 cases and allow us to develop targeted treatment," Ignjatovic added.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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