Genomic evidence for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2: a case study

13 octobre 2020

Source : The Lancet Published online October 12, 2020

Auteur : Richard L Tillett, Joel R Sevinsky, Paul D Hartley, Heather Kerwin, Natalie Crawford, Andrew Gorzalski, Chris Laverdure, Subhash C Verma, Cyprian C Rossetto, David Jackson, Megan J Farrell, Stephanie Van Hooser, Mark Pandori


The degree of protective immunity conferred by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently unknown. As such, the possibility of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 is not well understood. We describe an investigation of two instances of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the same individual.


Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to a detectable immune response, but the susceptibility of previously infected individuals to reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 is not well understood. SARS-CoV-2 infection results in generation of neutralising antibodies in patients.1 However, the degree to which this immune response indicates a protective immunity to subsequent infection with SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been elucidated. In studies of immunity to other coronaviruses,2–9 loss of immunity can occur within 1–3 years. Cases of primary illness due to infection followed by a discrete secondary infection or illness with the same biological agent can best be ascertained as distinct infection events by genetic analysis of the agents associated with each illness event. Reports of secondary infection events with SARS-CoV-2 have been published from Hong Kong,10 the Netherlands and Belgium,11 and Ecuador.12 We present a case report of an individual who had two distinct COVID-19 illnesses from genetically distinct SARS-CoV-2 agents.

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