The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is responsible for the new pandemic, which remains an important health and economic challenge worldwide. The causative agent is a novel coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is similar to SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Adult infection with respiratory symptoms was considered in the beginning of the pandemic. Now, it has been reported that SARS-CoV-2 infects children and other organs such as the gastrointestinal tract. SARS-CoV-2 enters the host cells through angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors as the main receptor expressed in various organs such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Studies on children and the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 do not completely explain the natural course of infection in children, and precisely how the GI tract is involved is not understood. The present article highlights the gastrointestinal manifestations and pathological findings in children with COVID-19. According to the evidence, SARS-CoV-2 infection is milder in children and may present different clinical symptoms from adults. Common clinical manifestations of pediatric COVID-19 include cough, fever, sore throat, malaise, fatigue, and GI symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Furthermore, liver and pancreatic enzymes may be elevated during the pediatric COVID-19 course. Asymptomatic children carriers are potential sources of infection for adults, especially elderly ones. Diagnosis, treatment, and isolation of children are the most effective ways to control the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rohani P, Ahmadi Badi S, Moshiri A, Siadat SD. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pediatric gastroenterology. Gastroenterology and hepatology from bed to bench, 13(4)