To predict kids’ COVID-19 severity, researchers collect spit


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Study will analyze certain biomarkers in saliva that are believed to control physiological inflammation upon infection

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers are studying whether certain biomarkers in saliva can help predict the severity of COVID-19 in children. While most children infected with COVID-19 usually have mild illness, some have more serious complications such as inflammation of the heart or respiratory failure.

A team of scientists from Penn State College of Medicine and Wayne State University is collecting saliva samples from 400 COVID-19 patients over the age of 18 and seeking emergency care at two children’s hospitals, a pediatrics group said. written in release Posted Thursday. Findings will be presented at the virtual American Academy of Pediatrics 2021 National Conference and Exhibition.


“The use of saliva to predict infection severity is non-invasive and painless,” study author Dr. Usha Sethuraman, a professor of pediatrics at Central Michigan University, said in the release. “If proven effective, saliva could be a game changer in children in whom blood is both difficult and distressing to obtain. Additionally, early recognition of the severity of COVID-19 may enable physicians to provide timely and appropriate treatment.” that can help improve outcomes.”

Sethuraman noted that there is no established biomarker to predict disease progression in children exposed to COVID-19.

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Researchers are specifically studying cytokines and microRNAs, or biomarkers believed to control physiological inflammation upon infection. A preliminary analysis among 150 children indicated elevated levels of two cytokines (MIG and CXCL-10) in those with severe COVID-19 versus those without a severe course of COVID-19 disease, as well as altered microRNA levels, most of whom were where did it go. To be “significantly less” in children with severe infections.

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