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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87

Immunity toward COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus Disease) in Children, an Anatomical Perspective


Date of Submission06-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance06-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
B V Murlimanju

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jasi.jasi_86_22

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How to cite this article:
Singh V, Murlimanju B V, Prabhu LV. Immunity toward COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus Disease) in Children, an Anatomical Perspective. J Anat Soc India 2022;71:87

How to cite this URL:
Singh V, Murlimanju B V, Prabhu LV. Immunity toward COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus Disease) in Children, an Anatomical Perspective. J Anat Soc India [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 11];71:87. Available from: https://www.jasi.org.in/text.asp?2022/71/2/87/349462

COVID-19 has been killing elderly individuals, and it is mysterious to see that the kids are spared. This novel coronavirus is not like the other viruses, which are dangerous for children as the morbidity is high for this age group. It is interesting to see that the initial patients in the People's Republic of China had no children. This suggests that the disease is not symptomatic in children.[1] Children were observed to have mild clinical manifestations and may act as asymptomatic carriers.[2] It was reported that children's mortality is less than 1%.[3] The reason for this immune status in children is not known. However, children might have received prophylactic vaccines for the other viruses, and these vaccines might have protected the children from COVID-19 to some extent. It is also possible that the children are not exposed to the external environment and might have maintained good pulmonary health.

However, we hypothesized that the children have the primary lymphoid organ, thymus, which might have provided immunity to COVID-19. The thymus is a temporary organ, attaining its largest size at puberty and involutes after that. People are more susceptible to viral infections with the thymus regressing due to the aging process. It is a primary lymphoid organ in which maturation of “T” lymphocytes takes place. These “T” lymphocytes are essential to invade against foreign pathogens. It was reported that thymectomy during early childhood was leading to decline in the immunologic function following the cytomegalovirus infection.[4] The age groups between 17 and 29 years were the most common people infected with COVID-19 because, by this age, the thymus gland involutes, and these people are susceptible to the antigen load.

Grafting of thymus tissue into the neonatally thymectomized mice has prevented immunological deficiency.[5] From this perspective, we opine that the transplantation of thymic tissue in COVID-19 patients may be beneficial. Thymic tissue may create an adaptive immune response when the coronavirus attacks the body. Even transfusion of serum taken from children may help these patients. The serum of children can be tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibodies. It is believed that the thoughts penned herewith may stimulate the researchers in considering new therapeutic strategies and discussing the investigations, which deals with the biomarkers and virulence of COVID-19.

  References Top

Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, Wang X, Zhou L, Tong Y, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med 2020;382:1199-207.  Back to cited text no. 1
Shen K, Yang Y, Wang T, Zhao D, Jiang Y, Jin R, et al. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in children: Experts' consensus statement. World J Pediatr 2020;16:223-31.  Back to cited text no. 2
Qiu H, Wu J, Hong L, Luo Y, Song Q, Chen D. Clinical and epidemiological features of 36 children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Zhejiang, China: An observational cohort study. Lancet Infect Dis 2020;20:689-96.  Back to cited text no. 3
Sauce D, Larsen M, Fastenackels S, Duperrier A, Keller M, Grubeck-Loebenstein B, et al. Evidence of premature immune aging in patients thymectomized during early childhood. J Clin Invest 2009;119:3070-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Miller JF. Revisiting thymus function. Front Immunol 2014;5:411.  Back to cited text no. 5


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