Background: Susceptibility of children and adults to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and persistence of antibody response to the virus after infection resolution remain poorly understood, despite their significant public health implications.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional seroprevalence study with volunteer families that included at least 1 first-reported adult case positive by SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and at least 1 child aged <15 years living in the same household under strict home confinement was conducted in the metropolitan Barcelona Health Region, Spain, during the pandemic period 28 April 2020-3 June 2020. All household members were tested at home using a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody assay with finger prick-obtained capillary blood.
Results: A total of 381 family households including 381 first-reported PCR-positive adult cases and 1084 contacts (672 children, 412 adults) were enrolled. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates were 17.6% (118 of 672) in children and 18.7% (77 of 335) in adult contacts (P = .64). Among first-reported cases, seropositivity rates varied from 84.0% in adults previously hospitalized and tested within 6 weeks since the first positive PCR result to 31.5% in those not hospitalized and tested after that lag time (P < .001). Nearly all (99.9%) positive children were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
Conclusions: Children appear to have similar probability as adults to become infected by SARS-CoV-2 in quarantined family households but remain largely asymptomatic. Adult antibody protection against SARS-CoV-2 seems to be weak beyond 6 weeks post-infection confirmation, especially in cases that have experienced mild disease.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antibody; household; prevalence.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.