J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2020 Oct 13:piaa123. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piaa123. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The burden of COVID-19 is poorly understood in pediatric patients due to frequent asymptomatic and mild presentations. Additionally, the disease prevalence in pediatric immunocompromised patients remains unknown.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study tested convenience samples from pediatric patients who had clinically indicated lab work collected and an immunocompromising condition, including oncologic diagnoses, solid organ transplant, bone marrow transplant, primary immunodeficiency, and rheumatologic conditions or inflammatory bowel disease on systemic immunosuppression, for the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
RESULTS: We tested sera from 485 children and observed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 1.0% (CI 95%: 0.3-2.4%). Two patients were positive by NP swab RT-PCR, but only one seroconverted. Patients with oncologic diagnoses or solid organ transplant were most likely to be tested for COVID-19 when presenting with respiratory illness as compared to other groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in immunocompromised children was similar to that of an immunocompetent pediatric population (0.6%, CI 95%: 0.3-1.1%), suggesting an adequate antibody response. However, none of the patients who tested positive for antibodies or via NP RT-PCR had more than a mild illness course and two patients did not have any reported illness, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 may not cause a worse clinical outcome in immunosuppressed children, in contrast to immunocompromised adults.