Scott Burkholz, Michael Rubsamen, Luke Blankenberg, Richard T. Carback III, Daria Mochly-Rosen, Paul E. Harris: Increasing Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Reinfection Reveals Ineffective Post-COVID-19 Immunity in Denmark and Conveys the Need for Continued Next-Generation Sequencing [preprint], in: medRxiv (September 14, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.09.13.22279912.
SARS-CoV-2 has extensively mutated creating variants of concern (VOC) resulting in global infection surges. The Omicron VOC reinfects individuals exposed to earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2 at a higher frequency than previously seen for non-Omicron VOC. An analysis of the sub-lineages associated with an Omicron primary infection and Omicron reinfection reveals that the incidence of Omicron-Omicron reinfections is occurring over a shorter time interval than seen after a primary infection with a non-Omicron VOC. The authors analysis suggests that a single infection from SARS-CoV-2 may not generate the protective immunity required to defend against reinfections from emerging Omicron lineages. This analysis was made possible by Next-generation sequencing (NGS), specifically of a Danish cohort with clinical metadata on both infections occurring in the same individual. The authors suggest that the continuation of COVID-19 NGS and inclusion of clinical metadata is necessary to ensure effective surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 genomics, assist in treatment and vaccine development, and guide public health recommendations.