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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 10

Vaccines (Basel)



Systemic and Lower Respiratory Tract Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Variants in Pediatric Severe COVID-19 and Mis-C.


Tang J, Randolph AG, Novak T, Walker TC, Loftis LL, Zinter MS, Irby K, Khurana S
Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Feb 10; 10(2).
PMID: 35214728.


Mucosal immunity plays an important role in the control of viral respiratory infections like SARS-CoV-2. While systemic immune responses against the SARS-2-CoV-2 have been studied in children, there is no information on mucosal antibody response, especially in the lower respiratory tract of children coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and post-infectious multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Therefore, we evaluated neutralizing antibody responses in paired plasma and endotracheal aspirates of pediatric severe, acute COVID-19 or MIS-C patients against SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020, as well as against variants of concern (VOCs). Neutralizing antibody responses against the SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 strain in pediatric plasma were 2-fold or 35-fold higher compared with the matched endotracheal aspirate in COVID-19 or MIS-C patients, respectively. In contrast to plasma, neutralizing antibody responses against the VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs) in endotracheal aspirates were lower, with only one endotracheal aspirate demonstrating neutralizing titers against the Iota, Kappa, Beta, Gamma, and Omicron variants. In conclusion, our findings suggest that children and adolescents with severe COVID-19 or MIS-C have weak mucosal neutralizing antibodies in the trachea against circulating SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and other VOCs, which may have implications for recovery and for re-infection with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.