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Investigation of the antibody landscape in children: SARS-CoV-2 infected children have lower levels

of antibodies than adults

Children are less clinically affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults with the majority of cases being mild or asymptomatic and the differences in infection outcomes are poorly understood. The kinetics, magnitude and landscape of the antibody response may impact the clinical severity and serological diagnosis of COVID-19. Thus, a comprehensive investigation of the antibody landscape in children and adults is needed.

This investigation has been conducted by Asmaa Hachim and Niloufar Kavian within Sophie Valkenburg’s team in a pre-print publication published online on January 3rd. The research team tested 254 plasma from 122 children with symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in Hong Kong. Adult COVID-19 patients and pre-pandemic controls were included for comparison.

Therefore, this is the most comprehensive study to date of the magnitude, specificity and duration of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in children.

The results show that children have lower levels of antibodies to the majority of proteins overall, with minor responses to non-structural proteins. The study highlights that SARS-CoV-2 antibody response in children is highly diverse, which may be an important factor in driving control of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


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