SARS-CoV-2 transmissions in students and teachers: seroprevalence follow-up study in a German secondary school in November and December 2020.

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To quantify the number of undetected SARS-CoV-2 infections in educational settings.Serial SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence study before and during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.Secondary school in Dresden, Germany.Grade 8-12 students and their teachers were invited to participate in serial blood sampling and SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody assessment.Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in study population.247 students and 55 teachers participated in the initial study visit and 197 students and 40 teachers completed follow-up. Seroprevalence increased from 1.7% (0.3-3.3) to 6.8% (3.8-10.1) during the study period mirroring the increase of officially reported SARS-CoV-2 infections during this time. The ratio of undetected to detected SARS-CoV-2 infections ranged from 0.25 to 0.33.We could not find evidence of relevant silent, asymptomatic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in schools neither in a low prevalence setting nor during the second wave of the pandemic, making it unlikely that educational settings play a crucial role in driving the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.DRKS00022455.

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Authors: Jakob Peter Armann, Carolin Kirsten, Lukas Galow, Elisabeth Kahre, Luise Haag, Alexander Dalpke, Christian Lück, Reinhard Berner