Immune system clues to why Covid is easier on kids

Photo: Healthday News

(Robert Preidt/ Healthday News) — Kids and adults have different immune system responses to infection with the new coronavirus, which may help explain why severe COVID-19 is more common in adults, researchers report.

For their new study, they examined blood and cell samples from patients admitted with COVID-19 symptoms to the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

The researchers found that the younger the patient, the higher their levels of two immune system molecules, interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and interferon gamma (INF-g).

IL-17A helps trigger immune system response during early infection and INF-g combats replication of the virus. Higher levels of the two molecules may be associated with better outcomes in COVID-19 patients, according to the authors.

“To our surprise, we found these particular serum cytokines were at higher levels in children than adults,” co-senior study author Dr. Kevan Herold, a professor of immunology and internal medicine at Yale University, said in a Yale news release. (…)

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