A case of critically ill infant of coronavirus disease 2019 with persistent reduction of T lymphocytes

Liru Qiu, Rong Jiao, Aiming Zhang, Xi Chen, Qin Ning, Feng Fang, Fang Zeng, Niannian Tian, Yi Zhang, Yafei Huang, Ziyan Sun, Menaka Dhuromsingh, Hao Li, Yang Li, Rongrong Xu, Yu Chen, Xiaoping Luo

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Abstract

© 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Background: The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is becoming a global threat. However, our understanding of the clinical characteristics and treatment of critically ill pediatric patients and their ability of transmitting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 still remains inadequate because only a handful pediatric cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Methods: Epidemiology, clinical characteristics, treatment, laboratory data and follow-up information and the treatment of critically ill infant were recorded. Results: The infant had life-threatening clinical features including high fever, septic shock, recurrent apnea, petechiae and acute kidney injury and persistent declined CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. The duration of nasopharyngeal virus shedding lasted for 49 days even with the administration of lopinavir/ritonavir for 8 days. The CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was partially recovered 68 days post onset of the disease. Accumulating of effector memory CD4+ T cells (CD4+TEM) was observed among T-cell compartment. The nucleic acid tests and serum antibody for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 of the infant's mother who kept intimate contact with the infant were negative despite no strict personal protection. Conclusions: The persistent reduction of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was the typical feature of critically ill infant with COVID-19. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells might play a key role in aggravating COVID-19 and predicts a more critical course in children. The prolonged nasopharyngeal virus shedding was related with the severity of respiratory injury. The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infant (even very critical cases) to adult might be unlikely.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

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    Qiu, L., Jiao, R., Zhang, A., Chen, X., Ning, Q., Fang, F., Zeng, F., Tian, N., Zhang, Y., Huang, Y., Sun, Z., Dhuromsingh, M., Li, H., Li, Y., Xu, R., Chen, Y., & Luo, X. (2020). A case of critically ill infant of coronavirus disease 2019 with persistent reduction of T lymphocytes. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. https://doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000002720