Children infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can suffer from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, compared to adults and the elderly, susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection in children seems to be lower; when infection does develop, most infected children remain asymptomatic or develop a mild disease. Understanding why children seem generally protected from severe COVID-19 and only rarely develop clinical conditions that can cause hospitalization, admission to the pediatric intensive care unit and death can be important. More details on the mechanism of action of SARS-CoV-2 could be defined. Moreover, the role played by children in virus diffusion should be better analyzed, and the development of effective preventive and therapeutic measures against COVID-19 could be favored. The main aim of this paper is to discuss the present knowledge on immunological and molecular mechanisms that could explain differences in COVID-19 clinical manifestations between children and adults. Literature analysis showed that although most children are clearly protected from the development of severe COVID-19, the reasons for this peculiarity are not fully understood. Developmental variations in immune system function together with the potential role of repeated antigen stimulation in the first periods of life on innate immunity are widely studied. As the few children who develop the most severe form of pediatric COVID-19 have certain alterations in the immune system response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, studies about the relationships between SARS-CoV-2 and the immune system of the host are essential to understand the reasons for the age-related differences in the severity of COVID-19.
Silence of the lambs: The immunological and molecular mechanisms of covid-19 in children in comparison with adults / Cusenza, F.; Davino, G.; D'alvano, T.; Argentiero, A.; Fainardi, V.; Pisi, G.; Principi, N.; Esposito, S.. - In: MICROORGANISMS. - ISSN 2076-2607. - 9:2(2021), pp. 330.1-330.11. [10.3390/microorganisms9020330]
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