SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among children in Latvia: a cross-sectional study

Krista Sapronova (Coresponding Author), Rūta Kaķe, Jana Pavāre, Dagne Grāvele, Ivita Šēla, Estere Ērgle, Dana Isarova, Zanda Grīnberga, Dace Zavadska

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major global health concern. In contrast to adults, the course of the disease has been
observed to be mild or even asymptomatic in children. It is therefore both clinically and epidemiologically important to measure
the seroprevalence in children and adolescents to discern the overall morbidity of the disease and to compare these findings
with similar data collected globally. We conducted a cross-sectional study between March and July of 2022 at the Children
Clinical University Hospital in Riga, Latvia, to evaluate the seroprevalence of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Participants aged 0 to 18 years were enrolled during hospitalization for reasons other than COVID19. The levels of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid antibodies were measured in blood samples. The possibility of
transplacental antibody transport was evaluated by directly interviewing the mothers of participants aged 18 months and younger.
Various demographic and epidemiological risk factors and their association with seroprevalence were analyzed. Positive SARSCoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies were designated the main criterion for seropositivity. Of 200 enrolled children, 173 were found
to be seropositive, resulting in an overall seroprevalence of 86.5%. The highest seroprevalence was detected in children and
adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. With the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, the seroprevalence in children has increased
significantly. We found that almost 1-third of seropositive children in our study population were unaware of being previously
infected with SARS-CoV-2 due to an asymptomatic course of the disease. Our study findings pertaining to high seropositivity
among children and adolescents might be beneficial for public authorities to adapt epidemiological strategies and prevention
measures. The high seroprevalence rate reported here and in many other populations around the world suggests that COVID-19
will likely become one of the many seasonal viral infections.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32795
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2023


  • children
  • COVID-19
  • Latvia
  • seroprevalence
  • vaccination

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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