Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children and Their Parents in Southwest Germany.

Authors
  • Tönshoff, Burkhard1
  • Müller, Barbara2
  • Elling, Roland3, 4
  • Renk, Hanna5
  • Meissner, Peter6
  • Hengel, Hartmut7
  • Garbade, Sven F1
  • Kieser, Meinhard8
  • Jeltsch, Kathrin1
  • Grulich-Henn, Jürgen1
  • Euler, Julia1
  • Stich, Maximilian1
  • Chobanyan-Jürgens, Kristine1, 9, 10
  • Zernickel, Maria6
  • Janda, Aleš6
  • Wölfle, Lena6
  • Stamminger, Thomas11
  • Iftner, Thomas12
  • Ganzenmueller, Tina12
  • Schmitt, Christian3
  • And 25 more
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics I, University Children's Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Virology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 Institute for Immunodeficiency, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 5 University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 6 Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Ulm University Medical Center, Ulm, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 7 Institute of Virology, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 8 Institute for Medical Biometry and Informatics, Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 9 Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 10 Pediatric Clinical-Pharmacological Trial Centre (paedKliPS), University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 11 Institute of Virology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 12 Institute for Medical Virology, University Hospital of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 13 Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 14 Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing, Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Computing, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 15 European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 16 Centre for Paediatric Clinical Studies at the University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 17 Department of Medicine II, Division of Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine, University Medical Centre Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
JAMA pediatrics
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2021
Volume
175
Issue
6
Pages
586–593
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0001
PMID: 33480966
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

School and daycare closures were enforced as measures to confine the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, based on the assumption that young children may play a key role in severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread. Given the grave consequences of contact restrictions for children, a better understanding of their contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic is of great importance. To describe the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections and the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in children aged 1 to 10 years, compared with a corresponding parent of each child, in a population-based sample. This large-scale, multicenter, cross-sectional investigation (the COVID-19 BaWü study) enrolled children aged 1 to 10 years and a corresponding parent between April 22 and May 15, 2020, in southwest Germany. Potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The main outcomes were infection and seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2. Participants were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA from nasopharyngeal swabs by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG antibodies in serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunofluorescence tests. Discordant results were clarified by electrochemiluminescence immunoassays, a second enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or an in-house Luminex-based assay. This study included 4964 participants: 2482 children (median age, 6 [range, 1-10] years; 1265 boys [51.0%]) and 2482 parents (median age, 40 [range, 23-66] years; 615 men [24.8%]). Two participants (0.04%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The estimated SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was low in parents (1.8% [95% CI, 1.2-2.4%]) and 3-fold lower in children (0.6% [95% CI, 0.3-1.0%]). Among 56 families with at least 1 child or parent with seropositivity, the combination of a parent with seropositivity and a corresponding child with seronegativity was 4.3 (95% CI, 1.19-15.52) times higher than the combination of a parent who was seronegative and a corresponding child with seropositivity. We observed virus-neutralizing activity for 66 of 70 IgG-positive serum samples (94.3%). In this cross-sectional study, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection during a period of lockdown in southwest Germany was particularly low in children aged 1 to 10 years. Accordingly, it is unlikely that children have boosted the pandemic. This SARS-CoV-2 prevalence study, which appears to be the largest focusing on children, is instructive for how ad hoc mass testing provides the basis for rational political decision-making in a pandemic.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times