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SARS-CoV-2 infections in children are generally asymptomatic or mild and rarely progress to severe disease and hospitalization. Why this is so remains unclear. Here we explore the potential for protection due to pre-existing cross-reactive seasonal coronavirus antibodies and compare the rate of antibody decline for nucleocapsid and spike protein in serum and oral fluid against SARS-CoV-2 within the pediatric population. No differences in seasonal coronaviruses antibody concentrations were found at baseline between cases and controls, suggesting no protective effect from pre-existing immunity against seasonal coronaviruses. Antibodies against seasonal betacoronaviruses were boosted in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In serum, anti-nucleocapsid antibodies fell below the threshold of positivity more quickly than anti-spike protein antibodies. These findings add to our understanding of protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2 within the pediatric population, which is important when considering pediatric SARS-CoV-2 immunization policies.

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Journal article



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Health sciences, Immunology, Medical specialty, Medicine, Virology