Reduced Seasonal Coronavirus Antibody Responses in Children Following COVID-19 Mitigation Measures, The Netherlands

Reina S. Sikkema*, Erwin de Bruin, Christian Ramakers, Robbert Bentvelsen, Wentao Li, Berend Jan Bosch, Brenda Westerhuis, Bart Haagmans, Marion P.G. Koopmans, Pieter L.A. Fraaij

*Corresponding author for this work

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SARS-CoV-2 prevention and control measures did not only impact SARS-CoV-2 circulation, but also the timing and prevalence of other seasonal respiratory viruses. Especially in children, information on exposure and infections to seasonal coronaviruses as well as SARS-CoV-2 in the first year of the pandemic is largely lacking. Therefore, we set up a one-year serological survey in a large tertiary hospital in the Netherlands. We show that seasonal coronavirus seroprevalence significantly decreased in 2021 in children less than one year, most likely due to COVID-19 control measures. The SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in children and adolescents increased from 0.4% to 11.3%, the highest in adolescents. This implies higher exposure rates in adolescents as compared to the general population (>18 years old). It is clear that there have been significant changes in the circulation and subsequent immunity against most respiratory pathogens as a result of the mitigation measures. The implications on shorter as well as longer term are still largely unknown, but the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and subsequent control measures will continue to affect the dynamics of other pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been partially supported by the French National Agency (ANR) (ECOBA, project # NT09-541416) and the French Institute for the Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).


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