Flu and Covid-19: During the pandemic, medical professionals and researchers found that children and young people infected with Covid became less ill than adults.
To understand this, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden looked at unique blood samples from children taken before the pandemic. They identified memory T cells that respond to cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid.
A possible explanation for this immunity in children is that they have had previous colds caused by any of the four coronaviruses that cause seasonal cold symptoms, the researchers said.
This new study reinforces this hypothesis, showing that T cells previously activated by the OC43 virus can cross-react against SARS-CoV-2.
“These responses are particularly strong early in life and become much weaker with age,” said corresponding author Annika Karlsson, research group leader at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.
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“Our results show how the T-cell response evolves and changes over time and may guide future surveillance and vaccine development.”
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The results show that the memory T-cell response to coronaviruses is already developing by the age of two.
The study was based on 48 blood samples from children between the ages of two and six and 94 samples from adults between the ages of 26 and 83.
The analysis also included blood samples from 58 people who had recently recovered from Covid.
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“Next, we want to conduct analogous studies in younger and older children, adolescents and young adults to better understand how the immune response to coronaviruses develops from childhood to adulthood,” says Marion Humbert, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Medicine Huddinge . Karolinska Institute.
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