Research found potential reason why children are less affected by COVID-19
Children account for less than 2% of identified COVID-19 cases, and now a team of scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York believes they have found a possible explanation.
The current coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is able to enter the human cells thanks to a protein called Spike (the key), which binds to an enzyme called ACE2 (the lock) that it is found in our cells.
This study, published in the journal JAMA, therefore demonstrates that the expression of ACE2 in the nasal epithelium is lower in young children and that it is increased in adults.
"Why children have less COVID-19 than adults has been a puzzle", says Supinda Bunyavanich of Mount Sinai, who explains that a lower expression of the ACE2 protein has now been hypothesized than the The SARS-CoV-2 virus used to enter the body could explain why children are less likely to get COVID-19.
The research could help explain why children represent less than 2% of the cases of COVID-19 registered and, furthermore, point to the possibility that the expression of the ACE2 protein may serve as biomarker to assess susceptibility to developing the disease.