TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — This discovery is nothing to sniff at.
The linings of kids’ noses are better able than those of adults to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, Australian researchers report.
Children have a lesser COVID-19 infection rate and milder symptoms than adults, however the known reasons for this have already been unknown, said study co-author Kirsty Short, of the University of Queensland. Weve shown the liner of childrens noses includes a more pro-inflammatory reaction to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 than adult noses.
She said researchers found major differences by age when you compare participants’ reaction to COVID variants. They recently published their findings in the journal PLOS Biology .
For the analysis, they exposed examples of nasal lining cells from 23 healthy children and 15 healthy adults to SARS-CoV-2. The herpes virus replicated less effectively in the children’s cells and the antiviral response was greater, researchers found.
There are many possible explanations, Short said.
It may be an adaptation to the increased threats of foreign invaders such as for example viruses or bacteria seen in childhood, she said. Its also possible that increased contact with these threats in childhood trains the nasal lining in children to mount a stronger pro-inflammatory response.
Short added that the expression of virus-fighting genes may change because of metabolic differences between children and adults.
Interestingly, the analysis discovered that the Delta variant of COVID was considerably less more likely to replicate in kids’ nasal cells than in adults’. This pattern, however, was noticeably less pronounced with the more contagious Omicron variant that’s now predominant all over the world.
Taken together, it shows childrens nasal lining supports lower infection and replication of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, but this can be changing because the virus evolves, Short said.
She said more research in a more substantial population is required to validate these findings also to determine the role of other factors such as for example antibodies in protecting children from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
For more about how exactly SARS-CoV-2 spreads through the nose and respiratory system, go to the University of NEW YORK Gillings School of Global Public Health.
SOURCE: University of Queensland, news release, Aug. 3, 2022