Characterising and managing paediatric SARSCoV-2 infection: Learning about the virus in a global classroom

Maria C. Cardenas, Samyd S. Bustos, Elizabeth Ann L. Enninga, Lynne Mofenson, Rana Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Aim: This study is a comprehensive review with the purpose of collecting the most relevant data in several sections including current treatment guidelines in the paediatric population. Methods: Literature was systematically searched in different databases. Results were limited to 2019+ and English, French and Spanish language. Results: Children can exhibit mild and less severe COVID-19 disease than adults and also have asymptomatic carriage of SARS-CoV-2, while severe disease is more frequently noted during infancy (<1 year). SARS-CoV-2 binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor; age-, racial-, and gender-specific differences in ACE-2 expression need to be elucidated in order to explain the differential clinical profiles between children and adults. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is an important condition to recognise in children. The decision to use antiviral or immunomodulatory therapy in a child or adolescent should be individualised based on the clinical scenario. Remdesivir is the only FDA-approved therapy available for children older than 12 years old who require hospitalisation for COVID-19. Conclusion: Further studies are urgently required to address prevention and treatment in at-risk and infected children, especially with underlying comorbidities. The chapter on the overall impact of COVID-19 in children has not yet been written. Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 has now joined a long list of human pandemics, which may forever change the world's history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-422
Number of pages14
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • children
  • coronavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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