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Risk of paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS-TS) during the SARS-CoV-2 alpha and delta variant waves: National observational and modelling study, 2020-21, England.

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Shingleton, Joseph 
Burton, Lucy 
Williams, Hannah E 
Finnie, Thomas JR 
Bennett, Emma 


OBJECTIVES: Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PIMS-TS) is a rare life-threatening complication that typically occurs several weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and young people (CYP). We used national and regional-level data from the COVID-19 pandemic waves in England to develop a model to predict PIMS-TS cases. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 infections in CYP aged 0-15 years in England were estimated using the PHE-Cambridge real-time model. PIMS-TS cases were identified through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit during (March-June 2020) and through Secondary Uses Services (SUS) from November 2020. A predictive model was developed to estimate PIMS-TS risk and lag times after SARS-CoV-2 infections. RESULTS: During the Alpha wave, the model accurately predicted PIMS-TS cases (506 vs. 502 observed cases), with a median estimated risk of 0.038% (IQR, 0.037-0.041%) of paediatric SARS-CoV-2 infections. For the Delta wave, the median risk of PIMS-TS was significantly lower at 0.026% (IQR, 0.025-0.029%), with 212 observed PIMS-TS cases compared to 450 predicted by the model. CONCLUSIONS: The model accurately predicted national and regional PIMS-TS cases in CYP during the Alpha wave. PIMS-TS cases were 53% lower than predicted during the Delta wave. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms of the observed lower risk with the Delta variant.


Peer reviewed: True


COVID-19, PIMS-TS, SARS-COV-2 delta variant, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant

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Front Pediatr

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Frontiers Media SA