Since the first case was reported in January 2022, more than 1,000 children in 35 countries have developed an unidentified type of severe acute hepatitis (or liver inflammation).
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British scientists say they have identified possible causes of the recent outbreak of the mysterious liver disease that afflicts infants around the world.
in the investigation Published on TuesdayTwo research teams at University College London and the University of Glasgow may have missed early immunity to both adenovirus and the newly linked adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) in some infants due to lockdown restrictions. Said there is.
Importantly, the two teams said they found no evidence of a direct link between the surge in hepatitis cases and the coronavirus infection that causes Covid-19.
More than 1,000 children in 35 countries developed an unidentified type of severe acute hepatitis (or liver inflammation). First case reported In January.
The majority of cases were in children under 5 years of age, but the diagnosis was detected in children up to 16 years of age.
Adenovirus usually causes mild colds and flu-like illnesses, but was previously part of the cause of the mystery because it was the most common virus in samples from affected children. It was being considered.
However, in a new study, adeno-associated virus 2, which normally does not cause disease and cannot replicate without “helper” viruses such as adenovirus and herpesvirus, was found in 96% of unknown hepatitis cases examined in both studies. It has been shown to exist.
Researchers now state that co-infection with two viruses (AAV2 and adenovirus, or less commonly herpesvirus HHV6) may provide the best explanation for recent outbreaks.
“There are still some unanswered questions about the exact cause of this surge in acute hepatitis, but neither team has found a direct link to SARS-CoV-2 infection, so these We hope the results can reassure parents who are concerned about Covid-19, “said Professor Judith UCL GOS Institute for Pediatric Health Broyer in a report.
Children are usually exposed to adenovirus and other common illnesses in early childhood and gain immunity. However, pandemic restrictions severely limited its early exposure.
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Findings add to the theory among several health professionals that Covid’s blockade has Decreased public immunity For many common illnesses. The researchers added that it was not associated with the coronavirus vaccine.
The two studies were conducted independently and simultaneously using UK samples. Dr. Sofia Morfopuoulou, a professor at UCL’s GOS Institute for Pediatric Health, said further research is now needed to compare their findings with confirmed cases of acute hepatitis in other countries.
“International cooperation is now needed to further investigate and elucidate the role of AAV2 and co-infectious viruses in unexplained hepatitis in children of patients in different countries,” she said.