Longitudinal Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections Reveals Limited Infectious Virus Shedding and Restricted Tissue Distribution

Ruian Ke, Pamela P Martinez, Rebecca L Smith, Laura L Gibson, Chad J Achenbach, Sally McFall, Chao Qi, Joshua Jacob, Etienne Dembele, Camille Bundy, Lacy M Simons, Egon A Ozer, Judd F Hultquist, Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, Anita K Opdycke, Claudia Hawkins, Robert L Murphy, Agha Mirza, Madison Conte, Nicholas GallagherChun Huai Luo, Junko Jarrett, Abigail Conte, Ruifeng Zhou, Mireille Farjo, Gloria Rendon, Christopher J Fields, Leyi Wang, Richard Fredrickson, Melinda E Baughman, Karen K Chiu, Hannah Choi, Kevin R Scardina, Alyssa N Owens, John Broach, Bruce Barton, Peter Lazar, Matthew L Robinson, Heba H Mostafa, Yukari C Manabe, Andrew Pekosz, David D McManus, Christopher B Brooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The global effort to vaccinate people against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during an ongoing pandemic has raised questions about how vaccine breakthrough infections compare with infections in immunologically naive individuals and the potential for vaccinated individuals to transmit the virus.

Methods: We examined viral dynamics and infectious virus shedding through daily longitudinal sampling in 23 adults infected with SARS-CoV-2 at varying stages of vaccination, including 6 fully vaccinated individuals.

Results: The durations of both infectious virus shedding and symptoms were significantly reduced in vaccinated individuals compared with unvaccinated individuals. We also observed that breakthrough infections are associated with strong tissue compartmentalization and are only detectable in saliva in some cases.

Conclusions: Vaccination shortens the duration of time of high transmission potential, minimizes symptom duration, and may restrict tissue dissemination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofac192
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • breakthrough infections
  • viral dynamics
  • vaccines
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19

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