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Importance: Accumulating evidence suggests that children infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are more likely to manifest mild symptoms and are at a lower risk of developing severe respiratory disease compared with adults. It remains unknown how the immune response in children differs from that of adolescents and adults. Objective: To investigate the association of age with the quantity and quality of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used 31426 SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results from pediatric and adult patients. Data were collected from a New York City hospital from April 9 to August 31, 2020. The semiquantitative immunoglobin (Ig) G levels were compared between 85 pediatric and 3648 adult patients. Further analysis of SARS-CoV-2 antibody profiles was performed on sera from 126 patients aged 1 to 24 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity rates and IgG levels were evaluated in patients from a wide range of age groups (1-102 years). SARS-CoV-2 IgG level, total antibody (TAb) level, surrogate neutralizing antibody (SNAb) activity, and antibody binding avidity were compared between children (aged 1-10 years), adolescents (aged 11-18 years), and young adults (aged 19-24 years). Results: Among 31426 antibody test results (19797 [63.0%] female patients), with 1194 pediatric patients (mean [SD] age, 11.0 [5.3] years) and 30232 adult patients (mean [SD] age, 49.2 [17.1] years), the seroprevalence in the pediatric (197 [16.5%; 95% CI, 14.4%-18.7%]) and adult (5630 [18.6%; 95% CI, 18.2%-19.1%]) patient populations was similar. The SARS-CoV-2 IgG level showed a negative correlation with age in the pediatric population (r = -0.45, P

Original publication




Journal article


JAMA Network Open

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