An Australian couple, after attending the wedding of friends, was infected by covid-19 and, together with their three children (who did not go to the party), when tested, showed specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 – the surprise came when doctors discovered that none of the children, even one of them sleeping in bed with their parents, contracted the disease.
The case went on to be analyzed by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) whose work, now published in Nature Communications, showed that despite close contact with infected parents, all children repeatedly tested negative for covid-19, without any of the symptoms. disease.
According to MCRI pediatrician Shidan Tosif, one of the study’s authors, “the fact that these children are able to neutralize the coronavirus suggests that, at some level, their immune system is able to respond to and deal with SARS-CoV-2 exceptionally effective ”, adding that it is still known whether and for how long the family will be protected against reinfection.
The team of researchers drew the immunological profile of the Melbourne family through saliva and blood samples collected every three days, both from adults (who had a fever, headache and cough) and from children (the two oldest children, from 9 and 6 years old, their nose was stuffy, the youngest, 5 years old, not even that).
The tests of the three children continued to be negative, but their samples had antibodies against the virus, in quantities similar to those of the parents. “The youngest child had the strongest antibody response,” said the study’s immunologist and co-author, Melanie Neeland.
Children usually develop the disease mildly, but the exceptions (severe covid-19 conditions that lead to death) exist. And even asymptomatic, when they become infected, they automatically transmit the virus.
(Jayden Hardowar did not die; before being admitted, he had tested negative for covid-19, but positive for antibodies against the disease.)