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Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(3): ofac070, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722566


BACKGROUND: The serologic and cytokine responses of children hospitalized with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) vs coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are poorly understood. METHODS: We performed a prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study of hospitalized children who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition for MIS-C (n = 118), acute COVID-19 (n = 88), or contemporaneous healthy controls (n = 24). We measured severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers and cytokine concentrations in patients and performed multivariable analysis to determine cytokine signatures associated with MIS-C. We also measured nucleocapsid IgG and convalescent RBD IgG in subsets of patients. RESULTS: Children with MIS-C had significantly higher SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG than children with acute COVID-19 (median, 2783 vs 146; P < .001), and titers correlated with nucleocapsid IgG. For patients with MIS-C, RBD IgG titers declined in convalescence (median, 2783 vs 1135; P = .010) in contrast to patients with COVID-19 (median, 146 vs 4795; P < .001). MIS-C was characterized by transient acute proinflammatory hypercytokinemia, including elevated levels of interleukin (IL) 6, IL-10, IL-17A, and interferon gamma (IFN-γ). Elevation of at least 3 of these cytokines was associated with significantly increased prevalence of prolonged hospitalization ≥8 days (prevalence ratio, 3.29 [95% CI, 1.17-9.23]). CONCLUSIONS: MIS-C was associated with high titers of SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG antibodies and acute hypercytokinemia with IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, and IFN-γ.

JCI Insight ; 7(4)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637818


Why multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) develops after SARS-CoV-2 infection in a subset of children is unknown. We hypothesized that aberrant virus-specific T cell responses contribute to MIS-C pathogenesis. We quantified SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, serologic responses against major viral proteins, and cytokine responses from plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells in children with convalescent COVID-19, in children with acute MIS-C, and in healthy controls. Children with MIS-C had significantly lower virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to major SARS-CoV-2 antigens compared with children convalescing from COVID-19. Furthermore, T cell responses in participants with MIS-C were similar to or lower than those in healthy controls. Serologic responses against spike receptor binding domain (RBD), full-length spike, and nucleocapsid were similar among convalescent COVID-19 and MIS-C, suggesting functional B cell responses. Cytokine profiling demonstrated predominant Th1 polarization of CD4+ T cells from children with convalescent COVID-19 and MIS-C, although cytokine production was reduced in MIS-C. Our findings support a role for constrained induction of anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in the pathogenesis of MIS-C.

COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male