Seroconversion in asymptomatic COVID-19 pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases of one tertiary referral hospital

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Objectives To evaluate seroconverted asymptomatic COVID-19 in pediatric Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases (ARDs) patients and to identify the risk factors related to contagion. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2021, before vaccination of children and adolescents in Brazil, including 77 pediatric ARDs patients, followed at a tertiary hospital and 45 healthy controls, all of them without a previous diagnosis of COVID-19. Data was obtained by a questionnaire with demographic data, symptoms compatible with COVID-19 over the previous year, and contact with people with confirmed COVID-19. Patient's medical records were reviewed to access data regarding disease and current medications. A qualitative immunochromatographic SARS-CoV-2 test was performed on all participants. Results Patients and controls were similar in terms of female gender (70.1% vs. 57.8%, p = 0.173), age (14 vs. 13 years, p = 0.269) and SARS-CoV-2 positive serology (22% vs. 15.5%, p = 0.481). 80.5% of rheumatic patients were in use of immunosuppressive drugs: 27.3% of them used corticosteroids (33.3% in high doses), and 7.8% on immunobiologicals. No statistical differences were found between positive (n = 17) and negative serology (n = 60) patients regarding demographic/socioeconomic data, contact with people with confirmed COVID-19, use and number of immunosuppressive drugs, use and dose of corticosteroids, use of hydroxychloroquine and immunobiological drugs (p > 0.05). Conclusions Pediatric rheumatic disease patients were infected at the same rate as healthy ones. Neither the underlying pathology nor its immunosuppressive treatment seemed to interfere with contagion risk.
Simon JR., Pereira MF.B., Marques HH., Elias AM., Sakita NK., Ferreira JC.O.A., et al. Seroconversion in asymptomatic COVID-19 pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases of one tertiary referral hospital. Clinics. 2022 Sep; 77:100110. doi:10.1016/j.clinsp.2022.100110.
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