COVID-19 in children and young adults with kidney disease: risk factors, clinical features and serological response

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J Nephrol. 2021 Oct 15. doi: 10.1007/s40620-021-01171-2. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplantation in adults are well-recognized risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated morbidity and mortality. Data on the toll of the pandemic on children and young adults with kidney disease is scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and severity of COVID-19, as well as the serological response, in this population.

METHODS: Study population included all patients with CKD stage 3-5, glomerular disease treated with immunosuppression and kidney transplant recipients followed-up at a tertiary medical center, between 1.12.2020 and 15.2.2021. Data collected included PCR testing, symptoms, exposure, and socio-demographic data. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were tested.

RESULTS: A total of 197 children and 63 young adults were included, 57% were Jewish, 43% were Arab. PCR-confirmed COVID-19 incidence was 20.8%, 37% of cases were asymptomatic, three patients were hospitalized for observation, and the remainder had mild symptoms. Kidney function remained stable without treatment modification. Risk factors for infection included exposure at home (OR 15.4, 95% CI 6.9-34.2) and number of household members (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.21-1.73). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected in 61% of cases and were not associated with COVID-19 severity or immunosuppressive therapy. Three patients who did not develop antibodies had a mild recurrent infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Unlike COVID-19 in adult patients with kidney disease, in our cohort of children and young adults, COVID-19 incidence was similar to the general population and all cases were mild. It may be unnecessary to impose severe restrictions on this patient population during the pandemic.

PMID:34655034 | DOI:10.1007/s40620-021-01171-2