Immune differences seen in children with inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19

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A new study may shed light on why some youngsters develop the rare and dangerous multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) after recovering from COVID-19 while most do not.

The syndrome can cause severe inflammation of blood vessels, the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. The immune system is more highly activated in children with MIS-C than in those with COVID-19, study co-author Dr. John Wherry of University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine told Reuters.

However, in MIS-C patients, the activated immune system quickly settles down, and symptoms improve, often faster than during a bout with COVID-19. Wherry noted a possible connection between a specific type of activated immune cell in children with MIS-C and some of the vascular complications seen in that condition as well as in COVID-19.

“The identification of an immune cell type connected to vascular symptoms may identify a new (treatment) target if approaches can be developed to target such cells,” he said.

The study was published on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

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