Researchers at Central Michigan University are investigating if saliva contains markers of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) infection, which could help physicians test earlier and prevent severe disease in children.
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. Usha 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.