Prior infection by seasonal coronaviruses, as assessed by serology, does not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease in children, France, April to June 2020

sabelle Sermet-Gaudelus1,2,3,4 , Sarah Temmam4,5 , Christ?le Huon5 , Sylvie Behillil6,7 , Vincent Gajdos8,9 , Thomas Bigot5,10 , Thibaut Lurier11,12,13 , Delphine Chr?tien5 , Marija Backovic14 , Agn?s Delaunay-Moisan15 , Flora Donati6,7 , M?lanie Albert6,7 , Elsa Foucaud16 , Bettina Mespl?es17 , Gr?goire Benoist18 , Albert Faye19 , Marc Duval-Arnould20 , C?lia Cretolle2 , Marina Charbit2 , M?lodie Aubart2 , Johanne Auriau2 , Mathie Lorrot21 , Dulanjalee Kariyawasam2 , Laura Fertitta2 , Gilles Orliaguet2 , B?n?dicte Pigneur2 , Brigitte Bader-Meunier2 , Coralie Briand17 , Vincent Enouf6,7,22 , Julie Toubiana2,3,23 , Tiffany Guilleminot24 , Sylvie van der Werf6,7 , Marianne Leruez-Ville24 , Marc Eloit


Children have a low rate of COVID-19 and secondary severe multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) but present a high prevalence of symptomatic seasonal coronavirus infections.

We tested if prior infections by seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) NL63, HKU1, 229E or OC43 as assessed by serology, provide cross-protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

We set a cross-sectional observational multicentric study in pauci- or asymptomatic children hospitalised in Paris during the first wave for reasons other than COVID (hospitalised children (HOS), n?=?739) plus children presenting with MIS (n?=?36). SARS-CoV-2 antibodies directed against the nucleoprotein (N) and S1 and S2 domains of the spike (S) proteins were monitored by an in-house luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay. We randomly selected 69 SARS-CoV-2-seropositive patients (including 15 with MIS) and 115 matched SARS-CoV-2-seronegative patients (controls (CTL)). We measured antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV as evidence for prior corresponding infections and assessed if SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of infection and levels of antibody responses were shaped by prior seasonal coronavirus infections.

Prevalence of HCoV infections were similar in HOS, MIS and CTL groups. Antibody levels against HCoV were not significantly different in the three groups and were not related to the level of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the HOS and MIS groups. SARS-CoV-2 antibody profiles were different between HOS and MIS children.

Prior infection by seasonal coronaviruses, as assessed by serology, does not interfere with SARS-CoV-2 infection and related MIS in children.

full article