Understanding Long-Term Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies

Neutralizing antibodies generally persist beyond 6 months in children infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to new, belated data presented at IDWeek 2021.

A longitudinal review of pediatric patients treated for COVID-19 at Seattle’s Children Hospital between April 2020 and January 2021 found that virus neutralizing antibodies remained detectable in most children 24 weeks after infection.

The findings, presented by Lauren E. Gentles, a graduate student at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, complement the ongoing understanding of the natural SARS-CoV-2 immunity history in children.

Gentles and colleagues attempted to examine convalescent sera up to 6 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, to observe changes in neutralization potential and nucleocapsid (N) protein binding. Their population included 32 children, 27 of whom had no underlying immunocompromised condition, and 25 such children with symptomatic COVID-19.

Researchers observed 10 children with a more than 2-fold decrease in neutralization titers between weeks 4 and 24; 12 had a decrease of less than 2-fold; 5 had neutralization titers that increased more than 2-fold over time. Of these 27 children, only 1 had no detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity after 24 weeks.

In an interview with Contagion® at IDWeek, Gentle discussed the team’s findings and their implication for the progression of pediatric SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

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