Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(2):707-716. doi:10.7150/ijbs.66906 This issue

Review

The COVID-19 infection in children and its association with the immune system, prenatal stress, and neurological complications

Suliman Khan1,2✉, Rabeea Siddique1, Xiao Hao3, Yueting Lin4, Yuxin Liu4, Xiaoyan Wang5✉, Linlin Hua3✉, Ghulam Nabi6✉

1. Department of Cerebrovascular Diseases, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China
2. Department of Medical Lab Technology, The University of Haripur, Pakistan
3. Advanced Medical Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China
4. The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China
5. Department of Child Healthcare, Hubei Maternal and Children's Hospital, Wuhan, 430070, China
6. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Key Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Hebei Province, College of Life Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, 050024, China

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Citation:
Khan S, Siddique R, Hao X, Lin Y, Liu Y, Wang X, Hua L, Nabi G. The COVID-19 infection in children and its association with the immune system, prenatal stress, and neurological complications. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(2):707-716. doi:10.7150/ijbs.66906. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v18p0707.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” caused by the “severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” has caused huge losses to the world due to the unavailability of effective treatment options. It is now a serious threat to humans as it causes severe respiratory disease, neurological complications, and other associated problems. Although COVID-19 generally causes mild and recoverable symptoms in children, it can cause serious severe symptoms and death causing complications. Most importantly, SARS-CoV-2 can cause neurological complications in children, such as shortness of breath, myalgia, stroke, and encephalopathy. These problems are highly linked with cytokine storm and proinflammatory responses, which can alter the physiology of the blood-brain barrier and allow the virus to enter the brain. Despite the direct infection caused by the virus entry into the brain, these neurological complications can result from indirect means such as severe immune responses. This review discusses viral transmission, transport to the brain, the associated prenatal stress, and neurological and/or immunological complications in children.