The benefits of schools' closure, used as a containment strategy by many European countries, must be carefully considered against the adverse effects of child wellbeing. In this study, we assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence, which better estimates the real extent of the infection unraveling asymptomatic cases, among schoolchildren aged 3 to 18 in Milan, using dried blood spot, a safe and extremely viable methods for children, and then compared it between September 2020 and January 2021. Secondly, we evaluated the seroconversion rate and compared it between students attending schools in presence and those switched to distance-learning, using a logistic regression model, both as univariate and multivariate, adjusting for age and biological-sex. Among 1109 pupils, we found a seroprevalence of 2.8% in September before school reopening, while in January 2021, the seropositive rate was 12.5%, reflecting the general growth rate of infections during the second pandemic wave. The overall seroconversion rate was 10%, with no differences based on biological-sex and age groups; we observed no seroreversion. When considered age groups, the seroconversion rate was 10.5% (95%Confidence Interval, 2.9-24.8) among children attending preschools, 10.6% (95%Confidence Interval, 8.2-13.4) for primary schools, 9.9% (95%Confidence Interval, 6.8-13.8) for secondary schools, and 7.8% (95%Confidence Interval, 4-13.2) among high-school students. Interestingly, no differences in seroconversion rate were found between students who attended school compared to those who started remote learning in the first days of November. Furthermore, most patients (61%) reported that the contact occurred within the household. We reported a low seroconversion rate among school children in Milan, with no differences between those who attended from September 2020 to January 2021 compared to those who switched to remote learning in the first days of November. Our data suggest that schools do not amplify SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but rather reflect the level of the transmission in the community.

Does school reopening affect SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among school-age children in Milan? / L. Barcellini, F. Forlanini, A. Sangiorgio, G. Gambacorta, L. Alberti, A. Meta, P. Gaia, A. Amendola, E. Tanzi, V. Massa, E. Borghi, V. Fabiano, G.V. Zuccotti. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 16:9(2021), pp. e0257046.1-e0257046.6. [10.1371/journal.pone.0257046]

Does school reopening affect SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among school-age children in Milan?

Barcellini, Lucia;Forlanini, Federica;Sangiorgio, Arianna;Gambacorta, Greta;Gaia, Paola;Amendola, Antonella;Tanzi, Elisabetta;Massa, Valentina;Borghi, Elisa;Fabiano, Valentina;Zuccotti, Gian Vincenzo
2021

Abstract

The benefits of schools' closure, used as a containment strategy by many European countries, must be carefully considered against the adverse effects of child wellbeing. In this study, we assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence, which better estimates the real extent of the infection unraveling asymptomatic cases, among schoolchildren aged 3 to 18 in Milan, using dried blood spot, a safe and extremely viable methods for children, and then compared it between September 2020 and January 2021. Secondly, we evaluated the seroconversion rate and compared it between students attending schools in presence and those switched to distance-learning, using a logistic regression model, both as univariate and multivariate, adjusting for age and biological-sex. Among 1109 pupils, we found a seroprevalence of 2.8% in September before school reopening, while in January 2021, the seropositive rate was 12.5%, reflecting the general growth rate of infections during the second pandemic wave. The overall seroconversion rate was 10%, with no differences based on biological-sex and age groups; we observed no seroreversion. When considered age groups, the seroconversion rate was 10.5% (95%Confidence Interval, 2.9-24.8) among children attending preschools, 10.6% (95%Confidence Interval, 8.2-13.4) for primary schools, 9.9% (95%Confidence Interval, 6.8-13.8) for secondary schools, and 7.8% (95%Confidence Interval, 4-13.2) among high-school students. Interestingly, no differences in seroconversion rate were found between students who attended school compared to those who started remote learning in the first days of November. Furthermore, most patients (61%) reported that the contact occurred within the household. We reported a low seroconversion rate among school children in Milan, with no differences between those who attended from September 2020 to January 2021 compared to those who switched to remote learning in the first days of November. Our data suggest that schools do not amplify SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but rather reflect the level of the transmission in the community.
Settore MED/38 - Pediatria Generale e Specialistica
Settore MED/17 - Malattie Infettive
PLOS ONE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/867444
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