Children and adults produce different antibodies in response to the novel corona virus, says a study published in journal Nature Immunology. Researchers from Columbia University who conducted the study explained that this could be the reason for children not being increasingly infected by the virus as adults are.
"Our study provides an in-depth examination of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in kids, revealing a stark contrast with adults" said Donna Farber, an immunologist from Columbia University.
The study that was conducted on 47 children and 32 adults who were confirmed positive for the virus showed that the course of infection and immune response in kids had a stark difference from adults.
Since the infection course in kids is found to be much shorter than and not as disseminated as in adults, they may not need a strong immune response to get rid of it said Matteo Porotto, the associate professor at Columbia University who co-led the research. This in turn suggests that in kids the infection doesn't spread a lot and is easily and efficiently gotten rid of.
Children produced very few antibodies which had the least neutralising activity while adults both young and old produced neutralising antibodies. The antibodies produced in kids became visible to the immune system only after the virus entered the human cells.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began it was found that the virus affected older people more intensively than children.
However the antibody responses found in children do not suggest that children will have weaker response to a vaccine, the researches stressed. Matteo Porotto also added that there is still a lot to be understood about the virus before determining what leads to severe and mild diseases.