Susceptibility to COVID-19 in pediatric age: Study of cases and household contacts

Principal Investigators

Objectives

The main objective of this project is to assess if children exposed to SARS-Cov-2 in in the home environment are less susceptible than adults to COVID-19 and to evaluate the role of the nasopharyngeal microbiota as well as the human ACE2 receptor in the different susceptibility to disease of the two groups. The project has four specific objectives:

  1. To determine the secondary transmission of COVID-19 between primary adult COVID-19 cases confirmed by RT-PCR and their pediatric and adult household contacts.
  2. To identify potential factors (e.g. demographic, environmental, lifestyle and clinical factors) that could explain the intensity of secondary transmission of COVID-19 in the household.
  3. To evaluate the possible protective effect of nasopharyngeal microbiota against the secondary household transmission of COVID-19 and clearance of RNA SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharynx in infected cases (adults and children)
  4. To evaluate the possible protective effect of the ACE2 receptor in the oral cavity of children against the secondary household transmission of COVID-19 from adults to children.

Project design

Observational study with prospective recruitment of adult cases and pediatric and adult household contacts.

Cohorts

  • Primary cases of COVID-19: 500 adults (>18 years old) with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease living with children (<15 years old).
  • Pediatric and adult household contacts: 750 pediatric household contacts (<15 years old*) and 500 adolescent and adult household contacts (≥15 years old).

* Subdivision of pediatric contacts by age group: 100 cases 0-1 years old, 300 cases >1-5 years old, 100 cases >5 years old.

Samples

COVID-19 cases and household contacts <15 years old:

  • Capillary blood sample: Rapid test for the detection of IgG/IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Nasopharyngeal swab: Detection of RNA/DNA of SARS-CoV-2 plus 18 common respiratory viruses by RT-PCR and bacterial microbiota by Next Generation Sequencing.
  • Saliva sample: Detection of ACE2 levels by ELISA.

Household contacts ≥15 years:

  • Capillary blood sample: Rapid test for the detection of IgG/IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Group members

External Collaborators

The studies on the receptor ACE2 are being done in collaboration with Dr. Clotet's group at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.

The microbiota studies are being done in collaboration with the Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CRG) and the Fundació per al Foment de la Investigació Biomèdica de la Comunitat València (FISABIO).