Coronavirus: Strange case sees kids develop Covid antibodies without ever testing positive
Three children in one family in Australia have developed Covid antibodies, despite testing negative for coronavirus (Image: MCRI)
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Three children in one family in Australia have developed Covid antibodies, despite testing negative for coronavirus.
Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have detailed the unusual case in a new report.
The parents had tested positive and were showing symptoms for coronavirus, after attending an interstate wedding without their children.
Despite being in close contact with their infected parents, none of the three children tested positive for the virus.
However, antibody tests revealed that all family members had antibodies in their saliva.
Despite being in close contact with their infected parents, none of the three children tested positive for the virus
(Image: Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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Usually, a positive antibody test indicates that you’ve previously been infected with Covid-19.
The NHS explained: “Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. They help fight the infection. If you have coronavirus antibodies in your blood, it's likely you've had the virus before.”
Dr Melanie Neeland, who led the laboratory-based aspect of the report, said: "The youngest child, who showed no symptoms at all, had the strongest antibody response.
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“Despite the active immune cell response in all children, levels of cytokines, molecular messengers in the blood that can trigger an inflammatory reaction, remained low. This was consistent with their mild or no symptoms.”
Thankfully, all family members fully recovered without the need for medical care.
Professor Nigel Crawford, who worked on the study, said: “Investigating immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 across all age groups is key to understanding disease susceptibility, severity differences, and vaccine candidates.”