Understanding Long-Term Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies

A new study from IDWeek showed most observed children previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 retained antibodies over 6 months.

Neutralizing antibodies generally persist after 6 months in children who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to new late-breaking data presented at IDWeek 2021.

A longitudinal assessment 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.

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

Gentles and colleagues sought to examine convalescent sera through 6 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, to observe changes in neutralization potency and nucleocapsid (N) protein-binding. Their population included 32 children, 27 of whom had no underlying immunocompromised state, and 25 of such children who had symptomatic COVID-19.

Investigators observed 10 children with a greater than 2-fold decrease in neutralization titers between weeks 4 and 24; 12 had a decreased less than 2-fold; 5 had neutralization titers that increased more than 2-fold over time. Of these 27 children, only 1 did not have detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity at 24 weeks.

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