The main objective of this project is to characterize the SARS-CoV-2 infection in children by
- Studying clinical, serological, biochemical and immunological variables, to identify protective or susceptibility factors determining the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 in this population, and
- Establishing a hospital-based surveillance system to monitor the evolution of the pandemic in the pediatric population.
The project has five specific objectives:
- Describing the clinical and demographic characteristics of pediatric patients with COVID-19.
- Estimating seroprevalences and incidences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general and at-risk pediatric populations.
- Determining whether there are differences in innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 depending on patients' age and/or the disease severity. This specific sub-study of immune responses will compare children with young adults and pregnant women.
- Describing the trend of oxidative stress markers and pro-adrenomedullin levels during COVID-19 in pediatric patients, and their changes related to patients' age and/or the disease severity.
- Integrating all immune and biochemical biomarkers, and compare them in terms of their prognostic capacity for poor evolution.
Prospective population-based study of children (≤ 18 years) who attend Hospital Sant Joan de Déu during the pandemic for COVID-19 suspicion. Pregnant women are also recruited for the inflammatory response study.
Patients with suspected COVID-19 infection (estimate n = 3000):
- CASES: children (≤18 years old) with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease.
- CONTROLS: children (≤18 years old) with a PCR that is negative for COVID-19.
Results obtained from pediatric patients will be compared to a cohort of young adults and pregnant women with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease.
- Nasopharyngeal-bronchoalveolar aspirate (day 1, day 14, day 40): PCR.
- Saliva and feces samples (day 1): PCR twice a week.
- Capillary blood sample (day 1): Rapid serological test.
- Blood serum and plasma bank (day 1, day 14, day 40): Cytokine quantification and ELISA-based serologic tests.
- Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) (day 1, day 14, day 40-60): Immunophenotyping and antigen specific T-cell activation studies.
- RNA samples: IFN-related transcriptomic analysis (day 1, day 14).
- Immunology Service, Biomedic Diagnostic Center, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, (within the Clinical Immunology Unit Hospital Sant Joan de Déu-Hospital Clínic Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain).
- Cytometry and Genomics Unit. Scientific and Technological Centers of the University of Barcelona (CCiTUB).