NIH begins observational COVID-19 study in children

December 16, 2020
Lois Levine

The NIH starts observational study of COVID-19 and MIS-C in children

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today an observational study on the short and long-term health outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The study, called the Pediatric Research Immune Network on SARS-CoV-2 and MIS-C (PRISM), will enroll some 250 children and young adults aged 20 years or younger. The study will include populations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds at some 20 sites around the United States. Volunteers in the study, who will be followed for at least 1 year, will have detectable respiratory samples of the COVID-19 virus, or symptoms of MIS-C, or both.

The goals of the study are first, to determine the proportion of children who die, are hospitalized again after a first hospital admission, or present major health complications from COVID-19 at 6 and 12 months after initial presentation from the COVID-19 virus, MIS-C, or both. The second goal is to learn the immunologic mechanisms and characteristics that are associated with different forms of both these illnesses. Results are expected by mid-2022.

Dr Anthony S Fauci, the NIAID director, said, "Information gathered through the PRISM study may ultimately help clinicians diagnose and treat MIS-C as well as predict which children are susceptible to the disease."