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Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 40-49, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585824


SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear. Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3-11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults. Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses. Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months. Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein. These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Protection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans
iScience ; 24(11): 103215, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446746


Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a life-threatening disease occurring several weeks after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Deep immune profiling showed acute MIS-C patients had highly activated neutrophils, classical monocytes and memory CD8+ T-cells, with increased frequencies of B-cell plasmablasts and double-negative B-cells. Post treatment samples from the same patients, taken during symptom resolution, identified recovery-associated immune features including increased monocyte CD163 levels, emergence of a new population of immature neutrophils and, in some patients, transiently increased plasma arginase. Plasma profiling identified multiple features shared by MIS-C, Kawasaki Disease and COVID-19 and that therapeutic inhibition of IL-6 may be preferable to IL-1 or TNF-α. We identified several potential mechanisms of action for IVIG, the most commonly used drug to treat MIS-C. Finally, we showed systemic complement activation with high plasma C5b-9 levels is common in MIS-C suggesting complement inhibitors could be used to treat the disease.