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152788-Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in three children of parents with symptomatic COVID-19.pdf (2.13 MB)

Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in three children of parents with symptomatic COVID-19

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posted on 2023-05-21, 12:50 authored by Tosif, S, Neeland, MR, Sutton, P, Licciardi, PV, Sarkar, S, Selva, KJ, Do, LAH, Donato, C, Toh, ZQ, Higgins, R, Van de Sandt, C, Lemke, MM, Lee, CY, Shoffner, SK, Katie FlanaganKatie Flanagan, Arnold, KB, Mordant, FL, Mulholland, K, Bines, J, Dohle, K, Pellicci, DG, Curtis, N, McNab, S, A Steer, Saffery, R, Subbarao, K, Chung, AW, Kedzierska, K, Burgner, DP, Crawford, NW

Compared to adults, children with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have predominantly mild or asymptomatic infections, but the underlying immunological differences remain unclear. Here, we describe clinical features, virology, longitudinal cellular, and cytokine immune profile, SARS-CoV-2-specific serology and salivary antibody responses in a family of two parents with PCR-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and their three children, who tested repeatedly SARS-CoV-2 PCR negative. Cellular immune profiles and cytokine responses of all children are similar to their parents at all timepoints. All family members have salivary anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected, predominantly IgA, that coincide with symptom resolution in 3 of 4 symptomatic members. Plasma from both parents and one child have IgG antibody against the S1 protein and virus-neutralizing activity detected. Using a systems serology approach, we demonstrate higher levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody features of these family members compared to healthy controls. These data indicate that children can mount an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 without virological confirmation of infection, raising the possibility that immunity in children can prevent the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Relying on routine virological and serological testing may not identify exposed children, with implications for epidemiological and clinical studies across the life-span. Children with SARS-CoV-2 infection are more likely to have mild symptoms and may be asymptomatic, but underlying reasons remain unclear. Here, the authors show cellular, cytokine and antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in three children who repeatedly tested negative for the virus by PCR, despite high exposure in the household.


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Nature Communications



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Tasmanian School of Medicine


Nature Publishing Group

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United Kingdom

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© The Author(s) 2020 This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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