- A new study from Central Michigan University and Michigan’s DMC Children’s Hospital is looking at children and COVID-19
- Researchers are analyzing biomarkers in Salvia to determine which children are at risk of severe COVID
- They found that children with severe infections had higher levels of cytokines, which control the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells.
- Meanwhile, levels of miRNA, a form of non-coding RNA that controls inflammatory responses, were much lower in children with severe infections.
- The team hopes that as soon as a child is diagnosed with COVID-19, the saliva test can be used to prevent the disease from progressing.
Biomarkers in saliva may be able to determine a child’s risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.
Researchers at Central Michigan University and Michigan’s DMC Children’s Hospital have started a study looking at the sputum of minors who have contracted the virus.
They looked for levels of proteins that, once infected, help control inflammation in the body, and found that children with severe cases had higher, while some RNA molecules had very low levels.
The team says that if the findings hold true in a larger study, doctors could use the test on children diagnosed with COVID-19 to determine who will develop serious infections and treat them before proceeding. .
A new study from Central Michigan University and Michigan’s DMC Children’s Hospital is looking at children and analyzing biomarkers in COVID-19 salvia to determine which children have severe COVID (file image) danger of.
They found that children with severe infections had higher levels of cytokines, which control the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells (above).
Most children who contract the virus do not become seriously ill, with pediatric deaths accounting for less than 0.01 percent of all US Covid deaths.
But children can sometimes be hospitalized, with some young people developing a rare condition: multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children.
“The use of saliva to estimate the severity of infection is non-invasive and painless,” said co-author Dr. Usha Sethuraman, from DMC Children’s Hospital in Michigan, in a statement.
‘If saliva proves effective, it could be a game changer in children in whom getting blood is both difficult and distressing.
‘Additionally, early recognition of the severity of COVID-19 can help clinicians to initiate timely and appropriate treatment which can help improve outcomes.’
According to the abstract (a full study is not yet available), researchers looked at 33 children aged 18 or younger.
Of those children, 29 tested positive through the hold standard nasal swab test, four had antibody tests positive and six children had severe infections.
They examined their saliva for cytokines and microRNA (miRNA), both of which play a role in controlling information.
Cytokines control the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells while miRNA is a form of non-coding RNA that controls inflammatory responses.
They found that children with severe COVID-19 had two higher levels of cytokines than children with severe infections.
What’s more, the expression of 63miRNAs was different, and 38 of them were at very low levels in saliva samples from children with severe infections.
“We were quite surprised to see that there is a distinct expression with miRNAs that is significantly different between critical and non-severe children,” Sethuraman told Helio.
Study studies are ongoing and the researchers plan to enroll a total of 400 children to verify their findings.
‘If this [study] successfully passes, our hope is that we are able to get saliva from a baby, put it in a machine, and predict who is going to get a serious illness,’ Sethuraman told Helio.
‘It would be a terrifying, terrifying achievement, especially in the emergency department, where it could help us make decisions and start treatment earlier.’