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Nasal expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors in newborns
  1. Santtu Heinonen1,
  2. Otto Helve1,
  3. Sture Andersson1,
  4. Cecilia Janér1,
  5. Liina Süvari1,2,
  6. Anu Kaskinen1
  1. 1 New Children's Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2 West Tallinn Central Hospital, Tallinn, Estonia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Santtu Heinonen, New Children's Hospital, Pediatric Research Center, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki 00280, Finland; santtu.heinonen{at}hus.fi

Abstract

Background SARS-CoV-2 infection is typically mild in children. Lower expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors in the nasal epithelia have been described in children compared with adults. However, data from newborns are lacking. We compared nasal expression of four SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors between term and preterm newborns and adults.

Methods Nasal scrape samples were obtained from 28 newborns (17 term and 11 preterm) and 10 adults. Reverse-transcription quantitative PCR was used to measure mRNA expression of ACE2, transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), neuropilin 1 (NRP1) and neuropilin 2 (NRP2) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R).

Results Expression levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2, NRP1 and NRP2 were lower in term and preterm newborns and IGF1R lower in term newborns compared with adults (p<0.05).

Conclusions Both term and preterm newborns, compared with adults, have lower expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors in nasal epithelium.

  • COVID-19
  • neonatology

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data collected for this study may be shared with other investigators after approval of methodologically sound proposal. Proposals should be directed to corresponding author. To gain access, data requestors will need to sign a data access agreement.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data collected for this study may be shared with other investigators after approval of methodologically sound proposal. Proposals should be directed to corresponding author. To gain access, data requestors will need to sign a data access agreement.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @HeinonenSanttu, @AnuKaskinen

  • Contributors SH and AK had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Concept and design: SH, OH, SA and AK. Acquisition of data: CJ, LS and AK. Analysis or interpretation of data: SH, OH, SA and AK. Drafting of the manuscript: SH and AK. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Statistical analysis: AK. Obtained funding: SH and OH. Administrative, technical or material support: OH and SA. Supervision: SA, OH and AK.

  • Funding This study was funded by grants from Lastentautien tutkimussäätiö (Foundation for Pediatric Research) and Finska Läkaresällskapet.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.