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Article

Evolution of the Antigenic Landscape in Children and Young Adults with COVID-19 and MIS-C

by
Lorenza Bellusci
1,
Gabrielle Grubbs
1,
Shaimaa Sait
1,
Katherine W. Herbst
2,
Juan C. Salazar
2,3,
Surender Khurana
1,* and
The Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative
1
Division of Viral Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), FDA, Silver Spring, MD 20871, USA
2
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Connecticut Children’s, Hartford, CT 06106, USA
3
Departments of Pediatrics and Immunology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
All members of the Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative are listed in the acknowledgments.
Vaccines 2024, 12(6), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12060638
Submission received: 20 March 2024 / Revised: 24 May 2024 / Accepted: 29 May 2024 / Published: 7 June 2024
(This article belongs to the Section Pathogens-host Immune Interface)

Abstract

There is minimal knowledge regarding the durability of neutralization capacity and level of binding antibody generated against the highly transmissible circulating Omicron subvariants following SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with acute COVID-19 and those diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in the absence of vaccination. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 neutralization titers against the ancestral strain (WA1) and Omicron sublineages were evaluated in unvaccinated children admitted for COVID-19 (n = 32) and MIS-C (n = 32) at the time of hospitalization (baseline) and at six to eight weeks post-discharge (follow-up) between 1 April 2020, and 1 September 2022. In addition, antibody binding to the spike receptor binding domain (RBD) from WA1, BA.1, BA.2.75, and BA.4/BA.5 was determined using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). At baseline, the children with MIS-C demonstrated two-fold to three-fold higher binding and neutralizing antibodies against ancestral WA1 compared to those with COVID-19. Importantly, in children with COVID-19, the virus neutralization titers against the Omicron subvariants at six to eight weeks post-discharge reached the same level as those with MIS-C had at baseline but were higher than titers at 6–8 weeks post-discharge for MIS-C cases. Cross-neutralization capacity against recently emerged Omicron BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1 variants was very low in children with either COVID-19 or MIS-C at all time points. These findings about post-infection immunity in children with either COVID-19 or MIS-C suggest the need for vaccinations in children with prior COVID-19 or MIS-C to provide effective protection from emerging and circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; children; COVID-19; MIS-C; vaccination SARS-CoV-2; children; COVID-19; MIS-C; vaccination

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Bellusci, L.; Grubbs, G.; Sait, S.; Herbst, K.W.; Salazar, J.C.; Khurana, S.; The Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative. Evolution of the Antigenic Landscape in Children and Young Adults with COVID-19 and MIS-C. Vaccines 2024, 12, 638. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12060638

AMA Style

Bellusci L, Grubbs G, Sait S, Herbst KW, Salazar JC, Khurana S, The Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative. Evolution of the Antigenic Landscape in Children and Young Adults with COVID-19 and MIS-C. Vaccines. 2024; 12(6):638. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12060638

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bellusci, Lorenza, Gabrielle Grubbs, Shaimaa Sait, Katherine W. Herbst, Juan C. Salazar, Surender Khurana, and The Connecticut Children’s COVID Collaborative. 2024. "Evolution of the Antigenic Landscape in Children and Young Adults with COVID-19 and MIS-C" Vaccines 12, no. 6: 638. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines12060638

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