A Strange Hepatitis Outbreak In Kids Was Caused By A Common Childhood Virus

Jun, 2023 - by CMI

According to three distinct studies that were published in the journal Nature, AA2 might be to blame for a 2022 outbreak of acute, severe, and unexplained hepatitis in youngsters.

The disease may be related to AAV2, according to recent study. Unless there is another "helper" virus present, such as an adenovirus or a herpesvirus, this common childhood virus cannot replicate itself. Nearly all of the kids who had unexplained acute hepatitis had AAV2, and several of them had numerous helper viruses, the researchers discovered.

The date of the outbreak may have coincided, though the researchers can't be certain, with the global relaxation of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions following periods of relative isolation.

Dr. Frank Tacke, a gastroenterologist from Germany who wasn't involved in the study and wrote an article alongside the new studies, claimed that children either had immune systems that weren't properly trained, making them more susceptible to relatively harmless viruses, or they were suddenly exposed to a constant stream of viruses following lockdowns.

AAV2 was found in high levels in 96% of the 28 afflicted children in a second study conducted in the United Kingdom but at low levels in the control group. Most often, the liver contained low concentrations of human adenovirus and human herpesvirus 6, which the authors also suspect allowed AAV2 replication and liver injury.

AAV2 liver damage may be promoted by an aberrant immunological response, according to a third study. AAV2 was detected at high levels in the blood and liver samples of 81% of the 32 affected infants and at low levels in only 7% of the 74 unaffected children, according to UK researchers. 93% of those who were afflicted had a genetic abnormality that puts one at risk for autoimmune conditions affecting T cells.