The National Institutes of Health has announced research funding to encourage the development of approaches that identify children at high risk for developing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), thought to be a severe complication of COVID-19. Up to $20 million will be awarded to successful research proposals over four years.
Most children exposed to or infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, develop only a mild form of the illness. However, others go on to develop MIS-C(link is external), a severe, sometimes fatal, inflammation of organs and tissues, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin and eyes. The new effort seeks to encourage studies of genetic, immune, viral, environmental, and other factors that influence how severe a case of COVID-19 will be and the chances of developing to MIS-C.
“We urgently need methods to distinguish children at high risk for MIS-C from those unlikely to experience major ill effects from the virus, so that we can develop early interventions to improve their outcomes, ” said Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).