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Local and systemic responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adults

Yoshida, M; Worlock, KB; Huang, N; Lindeboom, RGH; Butler, CR; Kumasaka, N; Conde, CD; ... Meyer, KB; + view all (2022) Local and systemic responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adults. Nature , 602 pp. 321-327. 10.1038/s41586-021-04345-x. Green open access

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Abstract

It is not fully understood why COVID-19 is typically milder in children1–3. To examine differences in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adults, we analysed paediatric and adult COVID-19 patients and healthy controls (total n=93) using single-cell multi-omic profiling of matched nasal, tracheal, bronchial and blood samples. In healthy paediatric airways, we observed cells already in an interferon-activated state, that upon SARS-CoV-2 infection was further induced especially in airway immune cells. We postulate that higher paediatric innate interferon-responses restrict viral replication and disease progression. The systemic response in children was characterised by increases in naive lymphocytes and a depletion of natural killer cells, while in adults cytotoxic T cells and interferon-stimulated subpopulations were significantly increased. We provide evidence that dendritic cells initiate interferon signaling in early infection, and identify novel epithelial cell states that associate with COVID-19 and age. Our matching nasal and blood data showed a strong interferon response in the airways with the induction of systemic interferon-stimulated populations, which were massively reduced in paediatric patients. Together, we provide several mechanisms that explain the milder clinical syndrome observed in children.

Type: Article
Title: Local and systemic responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adults
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-04345-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04345-x
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Respiratory Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141210
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