- Children with immune diseases can't produce antiviral antibodies: Study
- 1/3 children with immune diseases die of COVID-19 complications: Study
- Mortality rate among such children 8% higher than others: Study
Washington: Children with certain immunodeficiency diseases may have a higher mortality rate due to COVID-19, according to a study. Researchers noted that most children infected with the SARS-CoV-2 develop a mild illness or show no symptoms at all, but for a small percentage, serious complications may develop. The study, recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that children with certain immunodeficiency diseases carry mutations in genes that regulate the body’s immune system against viral infections.
Mortality is much higher among children with primary immunodeficiency diseases infected with SARS-CoV-2. Our results indicate that basic immunological examination and genetic analysis should be conducted in children with severe COVID-19 or multi-inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). The clinicians will then be able to help these children with more precise therapies based on their genetic changes, said Qiang Pan-Hammarstrom, a professor at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Researchers performed genetic and immunological analyses in young patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases — also called inborn errors of immunity — who developed severe or critical SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Our results clarify the molecular mechanism of these immune diseases, which opens up the possibility of developing a more targeted therapy. The knowledge acquired from the study also allows us to develop better strategies for the treatment and prevention of severe COVID-19 disease in these patients, Ms. Pan-Hammarstrom said.
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The study included 31 children aged five months to 19 years. All children had some type of primary immunodeficiency disease without a molecular diagnosis and suffered from severe COVID-19. Participants were recruited from August to September 2020 in Iran. None of them were vaccinated against COVID-19.
Eleven of the children, more than one-third, died of complications from the infection, the researchers said. Five children, 16 per cent, met the criteria for multi–inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C. Some of the children lacked antibodies to the coronavirus, they said.
This suggests that many children with this type of immune disease cannot produce antiviral antibodies and therefore would not have the full benefit of vaccination, said Hassan Abolhassani, assistant professor at Karolinska Institute, and the study’s first author.
Genetic analyses showed that more than 90 per cent of the participants, 28 children, had mutations in genes that are important for our immune defense, and that could explain their immunodeficiency, the researchers said.
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An important mechanism was mutations that affect proteins which regulate the immune system during virus infection, known as interferons, they said.
The study also included a literature review, where the researchers globally found reports of about 1,210 patients with primary immunodeficiency disease and COVID-19. About 30 per cent of them were children.
The mortality rate among children with primary immunodeficiency disease and COVID-19 was more than 8 per cent, compared with about 0.01 per cent among children in the general population, they added.
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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.