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Covid 19

CMU College of Medicine Professors Lead Research into MIS-C in Children

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MIS-C is a condition that can cause inflammation in different parts of the body and has been diagnosed in children who’ve had COVID-19.

Now, some professors at Central Michigan University are seeing if saliva could hold the key to preventing severe MIS-C infections.

Dr. Usha Sethuraman has seen firsthand the impact severe cases of MIS-C have on children.

“We have had a few children this past year who have come in with COVID like symptoms and then done well, but 3-4 weeks later have devolved significant inflammation in the body we call it Multi System in Children or MIS-C. A few of them actually were required to go on a ventilator, they require something called ECMO where literally they need support for their heart to function,” said Dr. Sethuraman.

Dr. Sethuraman is now helping lead a study looking at saliva and if that could offer early indicators of a MIS-C infection.

The study is one of just eight fully funded by the National Institutes for Health, looking at ways to quickly identify children at risk for MIS-C.

“What we’re trying to see is, is this indicator in the saliva of kids, so looking at the saliva, looking at the micro RNA, see if their levels have changed or if the overall profile of the micro RNA has changed in children with severe disease, and we’re combining that with cytokines, cytokines are markers of inflammation in your body,” said Dr. Sethuraman.

And an early indicator could be a game changer when it comes to treatment.

“The hope is if we are able to predict it earlier, then we can get to these kids as far as treatment goes earlier, so the outcomes would be better. We just need to keep a close eye on the situation. Our kids are our future, we’ve got to make sure their hearts and their organs are functioning well and get them back on a healthy track,” said Dr. Sethuraman.