Recent evidence suggests that neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 may persist over time; however, knowledge regarding pediatric subjects is limited.METHODS
A single-center, prospective observational study was conducted on 57 family clusters of coronavirus disease 2019, including children of neonatal and pediatric age attending the University Hospital of Padua (Italy). For each patient, blood samples were collected for both the quantification of nAbs through a plaque reduction neutralizing test and the detection of antinucleocapsid-spike protein immunoglobulin G and/or immunoglobulin M.RESULTS
We analyzed 283 blood samples collected from 152 confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 cases (82 parents and 70 children or older siblings of median age of 8 years, interquartile range: 4–13), presenting asymptomatic or with mildly symptomatic disease. Despite the decrease of immunoglobulin G over time, nAbs were found to persist up to 7 to 8 months in children, whereas adults recorded a modest declining trend. Interestingly, children aged <6 years, and, in particular, those aged <3 years, developed higher long-lasting levels of nAbs compared with older siblings and/or adults.CONCLUSIONS
Mild and asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections in family clusters elicited higher nAbs among children.
Trials of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination included limited numbers of children, so they may not have detected rare but important adverse events in this population. We report 7 cases of acute myocarditis or myopericarditis in healthy male adolescents who presented with chest pain all within 4 days after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination. Five patients had fever around the time of presentation. Acute COVID-19 was ruled out in all 7 cases on the basis of negative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test results of specimens obtained by using nasopharyngeal swabs. None of the patients met criteria for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Six of the 7 patients had negative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 nucleocapsid antibody assay results, suggesting no previous infection. All patients had an elevated troponin. Cardiac MRI revealed late gadolinium enhancement characteristic of myocarditis. All 7 patients resolved their symptoms rapidly. Three patients were treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs only, and 4 received intravenous immunoglobulin and corticosteroids. In this report, we provide a summary of each adolescent’s clinical course and evaluation. No causal relationship between vaccine administration and myocarditis has been established. Continued monitoring and reporting to the US Food and Drug Administration Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is strongly recommended.
Leukodystrophies are a group of genetically determined disorders that affect development or maintenance of central nervous system myelin. Leukodystrophies have an incidence of at least 1 in 4700 live births and significant morbidity and elevated risk of early death. This report includes a discussion of the types of leukodystrophies; their prevalence, clinical presentation, symptoms, and diagnosis; and current and future treatments. Leukodystrophies can present at any age from infancy to adulthood, with variability in disease progression and clinical presentation, ranging from developmental delay to seizures to spasticity. Diagnosis is based on a combination of history, examination, and radiologic and laboratory findings, including genetic testing. Although there are few cures, there are significant opportunities for care and improvements in patient well-being. Rapid advances in imaging and diagnosis, the emergence of and requirement for timely treatments, and the addition of leukodystrophy screening to newborn screening, make an understanding of the leukodystrophies necessary for pediatricians and other care providers for children.
Progress in therapy has made survival into adulthood a reality for most children, adolescents, and young adults with a cancer diagnosis today. Notably, this growing population remains vulnerable to a variety of long-term therapy-related sequelae. Systematic ongoing follow-up of these patients is, therefore, important to provide for early detection of and intervention for potentially serious late-onset complications. In addition, health counseling and promotion of healthy lifestyles are important aspects of long-term follow-up care to promote risk reduction for physical and emotional health problems that commonly present during adulthood. Both general and subspecialty health care providers are playing an increasingly important role in the ongoing care of childhood cancer survivors, beyond the routine preventive care, health supervision, and anticipatory guidance provided to all patients. This report is based on the guidelines that have been developed by the Children’s Oncology Group to facilitate comprehensive long-term follow-up of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors (www.survivorshipguidelines.org).
All children and adolescents deserve access to quality health care regardless of their race/ethnicity, health conditions, financial resources, or geographic location. Despite improvements over the past decades, severe disparities in the availability and access to high-quality health care for children and adolescents continue to exist throughout the United States. Economic and racial factors, geographic maldistribution of primary care pediatricians, and limited availability of pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists all contribute to inequitable access to pediatric care. Robust, comprehensive telehealth coverage is critical to improving pediatric access and quality of care and services, particularly for under-resourced populations.