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SARS-CoV-2 Circulation in the School Setting: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1
Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention, and Clinical Network (ISPRO), Via Cosimo il Vecchio 2, 50139 Florence, Italy
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Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology (IEO), IRCCS, Via Giuseppe Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy
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Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università Degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
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The Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF)-Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello 16, 80131 Naples, Italy
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Centre for Philosophy of Social Science (TINT), Unit of Practical Philosophy, Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 24, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095384
Received: 13 March 2022 / Revised: 20 April 2022 / Accepted: 26 April 2022 / Published: 28 April 2022
The contribution of children to viral spread in schools is still debated. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies to investigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the school setting. Literature searches on 15 May 2021 yielded a total of 1088 publications, including screening, contact tracing, and seroprevalence studies. MOOSE guidelines were followed, and data were analyzed using random-effects models. From screening studies involving more than 120,000 subjects, we estimated 0.31% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05–0.81) SARS-CoV-2 point prevalence in schools. Contact tracing studies, involving a total of 112,622 contacts of children and adults, showed that onward viral transmission was limited (2.54%, 95% CI 0.76–5.31). Young index cases were found to be 74% significantly less likely than adults to favor viral spread (odds ratio (OR) 0.26, 95% CI 0.11–0.63) and less susceptible to infection (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.25–1.47). Lastly, from seroprevalence studies, with a total of 17,879 subjects involved, we estimated that children were 43% significantly less likely than adults to test positive for antibodies (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.49–0.68). These findings may not applied to the Omicron phase, we further planned a randomized controlled trial to verify these results. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; infections; schools; students; teachers; susceptibility; contract tracing; meta-analysis; screening SARS-CoV-2; infections; schools; students; teachers; susceptibility; contract tracing; meta-analysis; screening
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MDPI and ACS Style

Caini, S.; Martinoli, C.; La Vecchia, C.; Raimondi, S.; Bellerba, F.; D’Ecclesiis, O.; Sasso, C.; Basso, A.; Cammarata, G.; Gandini, S. SARS-CoV-2 Circulation in the School Setting: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 5384. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095384

AMA Style

Caini S, Martinoli C, La Vecchia C, Raimondi S, Bellerba F, D’Ecclesiis O, Sasso C, Basso A, Cammarata G, Gandini S. SARS-CoV-2 Circulation in the School Setting: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(9):5384. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095384

Chicago/Turabian Style

Caini, Saverio, Chiara Martinoli, Carlo La Vecchia, Sara Raimondi, Federica Bellerba, Oriana D’Ecclesiis, Clementina Sasso, Alessandra Basso, Giulio Cammarata, and Sara Gandini. 2022. "SARS-CoV-2 Circulation in the School Setting: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 9: 5384. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095384

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