Researchers identify underlying genetic similarities in children who had both COVID-19, MIS-C

Although still relatively rare, MIS-C after COVID-19 has become more common and more severe than previously thought. A new study is raising critical questions.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that affects the heart, lung and brain.

Doctors diagnosed it in some children after they tested positive for COVID-19.

Researchers are now studying a possible genetic link behind the two.

“The exciting thing about this study is it’s really the first indication of a genetic cause for MIS-C, and that gives rise to, it opens doors, it gives rise to mechanistic studies, so how do these mutations result in MIS-C and can that be used in the future, for instance, in better diagnostics?” said Dr. Robert Silverman, with Cleveland Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic looked at DNA sequencing dates from children who had both COVID-19 and MIS-C and those who only had COVID. It identified underlying genetic similarities in the children that tested positive for both.

Doctors hope the research will help protect against other infections.

“Another possibility, possible advantage to the study, is it could lead to breakthroughs or discoveries about other chronic viral infections and inflammation in particular,” Silverman said.

Symptoms of MIS-C in children can vary but tend to include a persistent fever, rash, red eyes, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

If your child is showing these symptoms, it is best to contact their pediatrician.

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