Spectrum, determinants and long term outcome of SARS-CoV2 infection and disease in African children.

  • Funded by Department of Health and Social Care / National Institute for Health and Care Research (DHSC-NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: unknown

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Funder

    Department of Health and Social Care / National Institute for Health and Care Research (DHSC-NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    South Africa, Africa
  • Lead Research Institution

    University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Western Australia (Australia), University of Southampton (UK)
  • Research Category

    Epidemiological studies

  • Research Subcategory

    Disease susceptibility

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details

    Not applicable

  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Children (1 year to 12 years)

  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Children in LMICs experience a very high burden of pneumonia, which continues to be the major single killer of children under five years of age. Risk factors such as malnutrition, pollution, crowded living conditions and the high burden of infectious diseases all contribute to the vulnerability of children to developing severe pneumonia in these settings. However, surprisingly children in LMICs and globally are only mildly affected by COVID-19, with very few severe cases or deaths occurring in young children. This project will investigate what factors protect children against developing infection or severe disease from COVID-19 across LMICs and whether prior infection with other organisms, including seasonal coronaviruses, protects children against severe disease through development of immunity. This project will provide new information on COVID-19 in childhood, protective factors, immune responses and the long term impact on child health. "This funding provides a wonderful opportunity to better understand COVID-19 in African children in a low and middle income country context. Children are usually very vulnerable to developing severe pneumonia, however this hasn't occurred with COVID-19. Understanding why children are only mildly affected may be key to develop new strategies to prevent or ameliorate illness." Professor Heather Zar, University of Cape Town, South Africa