SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in a pediatric cohort of unvaccinated children in Mérida, Yucatán, México

Published: 9 June 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/h43mdmz6vv.1
Contributors:
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James Earnest,
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Fernando Pena-Miranda,
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Description

The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure in children during the global Covid-19 pandemic has been underestimated due to lack of testing and the relatively mild symptoms in adolescents. Understanding the exposure rates in the pediatric population is essential as children are the last to receive vaccines and can act as a source for SARS-CoV-2 mutants that may threaten vaccine escape. This cross-sectional study aims to quantify the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies in children in a major city in Mexico in the Spring of 2021 and determine if there are any demographic or socioeconomic correlating factors. We obtained socioeconomic information and blood samples from 1,005 children from 50 neighborhood clusters in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. We then tested the sera of these participants for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies using lateral flow immunochromatography. We found that 25.5% of children in our cohort were positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and there was no correlation between age and antibody prevalence. Children that lived with large families were statistically more likely to have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Spatial analyses identified two hotspots of high SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in the west of the city. These results indicate that a large urban population of unvaccinated children has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and that a major correlating factor was the number of people within the child’s household with a minor correlation with particular geographical hotspots. There is also a larger population of children that may be susceptible to future infection upon easing of social distancing measures. These findings suggest that in future pandemic scenarios, limited public health resources can be best utilized on children living in large households in urban areas

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Institutions

Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Emory University, John E Fogarty International Center, NASA

Categories

Infectious Disease Serology, Seroepidemiology, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

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