The Superior Prognosis in Children RE: COVID-19 may be due to the Innate Immune Response
I’ve developed a theory pertaining to the resistance to COVID-19 seen in children. In this article, I will provide a concise overview of the theory.
Science journalist Anthony King has already provided a great overview of some theories explaining why kids are making short shrift of COVID-19. I’d like to add one more to the mix:
A child’s immune system hasn’t been calibrated by years of exposure to antigens. This confers an advantage for fighting off certain novel antigens.
There is evidence that an enhanced innate immune response early in life protects against pathogens. Crucially, Teran and colleagues found that the proportion of naïve CD4+ T cells declined with age in children. Those naïve T cells are purposed for dealing with novel pathogens.
The fact that COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus may be what makes it so deadly and enables it to spread like wildfire. Adult immune systems are too calibrated for dealing with salient legacy coronaviruses. A child’s immune system is more flexible and adaptive.
If there’s any truth to this theory, it could mean that artificially deriving cultures of naïve T cells from stem cells and injecting them could serve as a de facto vaccine.
Whatever the case, there are many theories on the table and some researchers even dispute the idea that children don’t suffer as much from COVID-19.