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  • Sampling in an Italian laboratory.

    Sampling in an Italian laboratory. | Photo: EFE

Published 7 September 2020
Opinion

It will facilitate the early detection of the inflammatory response in children with COVID-19.

Researchers from the Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital (Vatican) and the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) discovered the mechanism causing the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in COVID-19 patients.

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The scientists detected the immunological differences between both diseases and their results have already been published in the journal CELL. The MIS-C causes inflammation of the blood vessels and heart and intestinal problems. These symptoms are similar to those caused by Kawasaki disease.

The study observes that both diseases alter the levels of cytosines, which are what measure inflammation in the human body. However, there are some significant differences between the two diseases.

For example, interleukin 17a, which tends to increase greatly in children with Kawasaki, does not increase in patients with COVID, which if they developed a high presence of antibodies.

Differences were also observed from the cellular point of view, especially in T lymphocytes, which are a subtype of white blood cells responsible for defending the body.

The Gesu-Karolinska study's findings will facilitate the early detection of the inflammatory response in children with COVID-19 by monitoring T lymphocytes and the spectrum of antibodies.

"These results also represent an important discovery for the choice of evidence-based protocols to treat systemic inflammation related to SARS-CoV2 infection and Kawasaki disease," lead researcher Paolo Palma said.

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