Antibodies from common cold coronaviruses could protect against COVID-19 infection in children

A new study by the Francis Crick Institute uncovered that antibodies arising during infection of a common cold coronavirus could be effective at targeting the infection associated with COVID-19 in children. The findings appeared in Science.

“Using diverse assays for antibodies recognizing SARS-CoV-2 proteins, we detect preexisting humoral immunity,” the co-authors stated in their news release.

The study analyzed more than 300 blood samples before the recent coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the globe.

It was determined that some children have antibodies reactive to the novel coronavirus strain in their bloodstream, this is in spite of the fact that they were never infected. The antibodies were detected in almost all the blood samples they evaluated.

The antibodies, researchers indicated, are likely the result of exposure to other coronaviruses.

“Our results show that children are much more likely to have these cross-reactive antibodies than adults. More research is needed to understand why this is, but it could be down to children being more regularly exposed to other coronaviruses,” the co-authors concluded in their findings.

“These higher levels we observed in children could also help explain why they are less likely to become severely ill with COVID-19. There is no evidence yet, however, that these antibodies prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or spread.”