Some children with mild disease will not develop antibodies

Children who become infected with Covid-19 and have a mild course may not develop antibodies against the virus. This is suggested by an Australian study in which 57 children and 51 adults with mild Covid-19 symptoms or asymptomatic courses were compared. 37 percent of the children studied had developed antibodies, compared with 76 percent of the adults – although the viral loads were similar in both groups.

Different immune response

Children’s bodies did not appear to be producing immune responses to the virus in the same way as adults, said lead study Paul Licciardi of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. All study participants were infected in 2020 when the delta variant was not yet widespread. “Whether this is also the case with the currently circulating variant (Delta) requires further investigation and studies to understand why children are less likely to produce antibody reactions after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Licciardi.

It is still unclear whether this makes children more susceptible to renewed infection.

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