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J Pediatr ; 241: 126-132.e3, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527773


OBJECTIVES: To determine the time to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) negativity after the first positive RT-PCR test, factors associated with longer time to RT-PCR negativity, proportion of children seroconverting after proven severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, and factors associated with the lack of seroconversion. STUDY DESIGN: The Epidemiological Study of Coronavirus in Children of the Spanish Society of Pediatrics is a multicenter study conducted in Spanish children to assess the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019. In a subset of patients, 3 serial RT-PCR tests on nasopharyngeal swab specimens were performed after the first RT-PCR test, and immunoglobulin G serology for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibodies was performed in the acute and follow-up (<14 and ≥14 days after diagnosis) phase. RESULTS: In total, 324 patients were included in the study. The median time to RT-PCR negativity was 17 days (IQR, 8-29 days), and 35% of patients remained positive more than 4 weeks after the first RT-PCR test. The probability of RT-PCR negativity did not differ across groups defined by sex, disease severity, immunosuppressive drugs, or clinical phenotype. Globally, 24% of children failed to seroconvert after infection. Seroconversion was associated with hospitalization, persistence of RT-PCR positivity, and days of fever. CONCLUSIONS: Time to RT-PCR negativity was long, regardless of the severity of symptoms or other patient features. This finding should be considered when interpreting RT-PCR results in a child with symptoms, especially those with mild symptoms. Seroprevalence and postimmunization studies should consider that 11 in 4 infected children fail to seroconvert.

COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Seroconversion , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Registries , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Time Factors