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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(1): 66-73, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of children in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is critical to guide decision-making for schools in the pandemic. We aimed to describe the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adult staff in summer schools. METHODS: During July 2020, we prospectively recruited children and adult staff attending summer schools in Barcelona who had SARS-CoV-2 infection. Primary SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through (1) a surveillance program in 22 summer schools of 1905 participants, involving weekly saliva sampling for SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during 2-5 weeks; and (2) cases identified through the Catalonian Health Surveillance System of children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. All centers followed prevention protocols: bubble groups, handwashing, face masks, and conducting activities mostly outdoors. Contacts of a primary case within the same bubble were evaluated by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Secondary attack rates and the effective reproduction number in summer schools (Re*) were calculated. RESULTS: Among the >2000 repeatedly screened participants, 30 children and 9 adults were identified as primary cases. A total of 253 close contacts of these primary cases were studied (median, 9 [interquartile range, 5-10] for each primary case), among which 12 new cases (4.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The Re* was 0.3, whereas the contemporary rate in the general population from the same areas in Barcelona was 1.9. CONCLUSIONS: The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children attending school-like facilities under strict prevention measures was lower than that reported for the general population. This suggests that under preventive measures schools are unlikely amplifiers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, supporting current recommendations for school opening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Spain/epidemiology
2.
iScience ; 25(1): 103595, 2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561439

ABSTRACT

It is unclear why COVID-19 ranges from asymptomatic to severe. When SARS-CoV-2 is detected, interferon (IFN) response is activated. When it is insufficient or delayed, it might lead to overproduction of cytokines and severe COVID-19. The aim was to compare cytokine and IFN patterns in children and adults with differing severity with SARS-CoV-2.It was a prospective, observational study, including 84 patients. Patients with moderate/severe disease had higher cytokines' values than patients with mild disease (p< 0.001).Two IFN genes were selected to build a decision tree for severity classification: SOCS1 (representative of the rest of the IFN genes) and CIITA (inverse correlation). Low values of CIITA and high values of SOCS1 indicated severe disease. This method correctly classified 33/38(86.8%) of children and 27/34 (79.4%) of adults. To conclude, patients with severe disease had an elevated cytokine pattern, which correlated with the IFN response, with low CIITA and high SOCS1 values.

3.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 309, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528684

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surveillance tools to estimate viral transmission dynamics in young populations are essential to guide recommendations for school opening and management during viral epidemics. Ideally, sensitive techniques are required to detect low viral load exposures among asymptomatic children. We aimed to estimate SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adult populations in a school-like environment during the initial COVID-19 pandemic waves using an antibody-based field-deployable and non-invasive approach. METHODS: Saliva antibody conversion defined as ≥ 4-fold increase in IgM, IgA, and/or IgG levels to five SARS-CoV-2 antigens including spike and nucleocapsid constructs was evaluated in 1509 children and 396 adults by high-throughput Luminex assays in samples collected weekly in 22 summer schools and 2 pre-schools in 27 venues in Barcelona, Spain, from June 29th to July 31st, 2020. RESULTS: Saliva antibody conversion between two visits over a 5-week period was 3.22% (49/1518) or 2.36% if accounting for potentially cross-reactive antibodies, six times higher than the cumulative infection rate (0.53%) assessed by weekly saliva RT-PCR screening. IgG conversion was higher in adults (2.94%, 11/374) than children (1.31%, 15/1144) (p=0.035), IgG and IgA levels moderately increased with age, and antibodies were higher in females. Most antibody converters increased both IgG and IgA antibodies but some augmented either IgG or IgA, with a faster decay over time for IgA than IgG. Nucleocapsid rather than spike was the main antigen target. Anti-spike antibodies were significantly higher in individuals not reporting symptoms than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective role against COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Saliva antibody profiling including three isotypes and multiplexing antigens is a useful and user-friendlier tool for screening pediatric populations to detect low viral load exposures among children, particularly while they are not vaccinated and vulnerable to highly contagious variants, and to recommend public health policies during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , Saliva , Schools , Spain/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(12): e970-e977, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269552

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Susceptibility of children and adults to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and persistence of antibody response to the virus after infection resolution remain poorly understood, despite their significant public health implications. METHODS: A prospective cross-sectional seroprevalence study with volunteer families that included at least 1 first-reported adult case positive by SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and at least 1 child aged <15 years living in the same household under strict home confinement was conducted in the metropolitan Barcelona Health Region, Spain, during the pandemic period 28 April 2020-3 June 2020. All household members were tested at home using a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody assay with finger prick-obtained capillary blood. RESULTS: A total of 381 family households including 381 first-reported PCR-positive adult cases and 1084 contacts (672 children, 412 adults) were enrolled. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates were 17.6% (118 of 672) in children and 18.7% (77 of 335) in adult contacts (P = .64). Among first-reported cases, seropositivity rates varied from 84.0% in adults previously hospitalized and tested within 6 weeks since the first positive PCR result to 31.5% in those not hospitalized and tested after that lag time (P < .001). Nearly all (99.9%) positive children were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Children appear to have similar probability as adults to become infected by SARS-CoV-2 in quarantined family households but remain largely asymptomatic. Adult antibody protection against SARS-CoV-2 seems to be weak beyond 6 weeks post-infection confirmation, especially in cases that have experienced mild disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology
5.
J Clin Invest ; 131(6)2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133407

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has recently been described in children (MIS-C), partially overlapping with Kawasaki disease (KD). We hypothesized that (a) MIS-C and prepandemic KD cytokine profiles may be unique and justify the clinical differences observed, and (b) SARS-CoV-2-specific immune complexes (ICs) may explain the immunopathology of MIS-C. Seventy-four children were included: 14 with MIS-C, 9 patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR without MIS-C (COVID), 14 with prepandemic KD, and 37 healthy controls (HCs). Thirty-four circulating cytokines were quantified in pretreatment serum or plasma samples and the presence of circulating SARS-CoV-2 ICs was evaluated in MIS-C patients. Compared with HCs, the MIS-C and KD groups showed most cytokines to be significantly elevated, with IFN-γ-induced response markers (including IFN-γ, IL-18, and IP-10) and inflammatory monocyte activation markers (including MCP-1, IL-1α, and IL-1RA) being the main triggers of inflammation. In linear discriminant analysis, MIS-C and KD profiles overlapped; however, a subgroup of MIS-C patients (MIS-Cplus) differentiated from the remaining MIS-C patients in IFN-γ, IL-18, GM-CSF, RANTES, IP-10, IL-1α, and SDF-1 and incipient signs of macrophage activation syndrome. Circulating SARS-CoV-2 ICs were not detected in MIS-C patients. Our findings suggest a major role for IFN-γ in the pathogenesis of MIS-C, which may be relevant for therapeutic management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Cytokines/blood , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/etiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/etiology , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigen-Antibody Complex/blood , Antigens, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Models, Immunological , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology
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