Immunological imprinting of humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in children

Dowell, A. C. et al. (2023) Immunological imprinting of humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in children. Nature Communications, 14, 3845. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39575-2) (PMID:37386081) (PMCID:PMC10310754)

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Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 are globally dominant and infection rates are very high in children. We measure immune responses following Omicron BA.1/2 infection in children aged 6-14 years and relate this to prior and subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. Primary Omicron infection elicits a weak antibody response with poor functional neutralizing antibodies. Subsequent Omicron reinfection or COVID-19 vaccination elicits increased antibody titres with broad neutralisation of Omicron subvariants. Prior pre-Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus infection or vaccination primes for robust antibody responses following Omicron infection but these remain primarily focussed against ancestral variants. Primary Omicron infection thus elicits a weak antibody response in children which is boosted after reinfection or vaccination. Cellular responses are robust and broadly equivalent in all groups, providing protection against severe disease irrespective of SARS-CoV-2 variant. Immunological imprinting is likely to act as an important determinant of long-term humoral immunity, the future clinical importance of which is unknown.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scott, Mr Sam and Willett, Professor Brian
Authors: Dowell, A. C., Lancaster, T., Bruton, R., Ireland, G., Bentley, C., Sylla, P., Zuo, J., Scott, S., Jadir, A., Begum, J., Roberts, T., Stephens, C., Ditta, S., Shepherdson, R., Powell, A. A., Brent, A. J., Brent, B., Baawuah, F., Okike, I., Beckmann, J., Ahmad, S., Aiano, F., Garstang, J., Ramsay, M. E., Azad, R., Waiblinger, D., Willett, B., Wright, J., Ladhani, S. N., and Moss, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 14: 3845
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172630014Cross-Cutting Programme – Viral Genomics and Bioinformatics (Programme 9)David RobertsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/12III - Centre for Virus Research