Scientists Explained How B Cells Protect Children from COVID-19

In a new study, a team of scientists from the Stanford University found that blood taken from children before the pandemic had a higher frequency of B cells, able to bind SARS-CoV-2, than adult blood, even though none of them had been exposed to the novel coronavirus before.Scientists Explained How B Cells Protect Children from COVID-19

For their study, the researchers analyzed 114 blood samples from healthy adults, 93 samples from children aged from 1 to 3 years old, 12 umbilical cord blood samples, and blood, lymph nodes, and spleen samples from 8 organ donors.

The analysis of the blood samples showed that children’s B cells had more shared “clones” for viruses and bacteria they’d already encountered than adults’ B cells. Kids also had more B cells that could “switch” to become effective in fighting SARS-CoV-2 without having been infected first.

The researchers write in their paper: “We hypothesize that previous human coronavirus exposures may stimulate cross-reactive memory and that such clonal responses may have their highest frequencies in childhood. Childhood immune responses are particularly important in an individual's life, as they form the initial memory B cell pool that shapes future responses.”

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