Early Release - Culture-Competent #SARS-CoV-2 in Nasopharynx of Symptomatic Neonates, Children, and Adolescents - Volume 26, Number 10—October 2020 - Emerging Infectious Diseases journal - CDC
Étude suisse PCR/culture chez des #enfants symptomatiques.
[Children] should be considered as transmitters unless proven otherwise. To address this point, the laboratory of the Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva (Geneva, Switzerland), used cell culture to systematically assess cultivable SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract (URT) of 23 children with #COVID-19.
Of 638 patients <16 years of age, 23 (3.6%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Median age was 12.0 years (interquartile range [IQR] 3.8–14.5 years, range 7 days–15.9 years).
We isolated SARS-CoV-2 from 12 (52%) children.
Our data show that viral load at diagnosis is comparable to that of adults (6,7) and that symptomatic children of all ages shed infectious virus in early acute illness, a prerequisite for further #transmission. Isolation of infectious virus was largely comparable with that of adults , [...]
A limitation of our study was the small number of children assessed. However, although the Canton of Geneva was a region severely affected by SARS-CoV-2 (8), only 23 cases were diagnosed in children at our hospital during the study period. These findings confirm that children are not a major risk group for COVID-19. Another limitation is our reliance solely on leftover material initially received for routine diagnostic purposes that we retrospectively analyzed.
Therefore, our findings probably underestimate the true rate of infectious virus presence in symptomatic children, and we cannot comment whether our data reflect the rates of infectious virus shedding in the community.
SARS-CoV-2 viral load and shedding patterns of culture-competent virus in 12 symptomatic children resemble those in adults. Therefore, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from children is plausible . Considering the relatively low frequency of infected children, even in severely affected areas, biological or other unknown factors could lead to the lower transmission in this population. Large serologic investigations and systematic surveillance for acute respiratory diseases and asymptomatic presentations are needed to assess the role of children in this pandemic.