Coronavirus: The serious infection in children sometimes caused by an error in the immune system

Children then do not have enough type I interferons, a group of 17 crucial proteins to protect cells and therefore the body against the coronavirus. The severe genetic defect is found more often in children than in adults with severe infection (3.5%). Children are less likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus infection, but this research provides an additional reason to vaccinate younger children, researchers say.

“The results of the study are important because we can protect children diagnosed with the genetic defect from severe symptoms of a new infection,” says immunology professor Filomeen Haerynck. “We know that these children have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill again after Covid infection. This is why we recommend full vaccination with booster and start preventive treatment with monoclonal antibodies from the age of 12.”

The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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