Infant Immune Systems Are Stronger Than You Think

New study may help explain why infants are less affected by COVID than adults.  The infant immune system has a reputation for being weak and underdeveloped when compared to the adult immune system, but the comparison isn’t quite fair.

Babies do get a lot of respiratory illnesses from viruses, like influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, compared to adults. But unlike adults, babies are seeing these viruses for the first time. “Adults don’t get sick as often because we’ve recorded memories of these viruse, and the memories protect us,” Farber says, “whereas everything the baby encounters is new to them.”

The paper, titled “Infant T cells are developmentally adapted for robust lung immune responses through enhanced T cell receptor signaling(link is external and opens in a new window),” was published in Science Immunology.

Release date: 10 December 2021
Source: Columbia University Irving Medical Center