Scientists Explain Why COVID-19 Usually Spares Children

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Scientists Explain Why COVID-19 Usually Spares Children
Scientists Explain Why COVID-19 Usually Spares Children

Video: Scientists Explain Why COVID-19 Usually Spares Children

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Video: WHO's Science in 5 on COVID-19 - Children & COVID-19 - 22 January 2021 2023, February
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Scientists explain why COVID-19 usually spares children

The study found that children have fewer receptors through which the virus enters the body.

Scientists explain why COVID-19 usually spares children
Scientists explain why COVID-19 usually spares children

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many questions related to how often and how hard it is for children to tolerate this infection. In a new study, published in JAMA, scientists have tried to explain why children can get sick less often and more easily than adults.

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus enters the body by binding to the ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme) receptor on cell membranes. In a new study, scientists have demonstrated that children have less expression of the gene that encodes ACE2 than adults. Gene expression tells how often information is read from it to synthesize a particular protein. Accordingly, the ACE2 protein in the body of children is less represented.

“Expression of ACE2 may be associated with a predisposition to COVID-19. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is a receptor that many have heard of because it is involved in regulating blood pressure. It is known to be expressed in the airways, kidneys, heart and intestines,”explained Professor Supinda Bunyavanich of the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The nasal passages are considered one of the most likely sites through which the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the body. In the new study, Bunyawanich and her colleagues examined the nasal epithelium of patients at Mount Sinai Medical Center between the ages of 4 and 60. They found that the expression (expression) of the ACE2 gene in children is much less than in adults: it tends to increase with age.

“This may explain why the pandemic is kind of sparing children,” Bunyavanich said.

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