Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination
Kasen K Riemersma,
Brittany E Grogan,
Kelsey R Florek,
Gunnar E Jeppson,
David H O'Connor,
Thomas C Friedrich,
Katarina M Grande
Posted 31 Jul 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.31.21261387
Posted 31 Jul 2021
The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant is highly transmissible and contains mutations that confer partial immune escape. We compared RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) data from 699 test-positive anterior nasal swab specimens from fully vaccinated (n = 310) or unvaccinated (n=389) individuals. We observed low Ct values (<25) in 212 of 310 fully vaccinated (68%) and 246 of 389 (63%) unvaccinated individuals. Testing a subset of these low-Ct samples revealed infectious SARS-CoV-2 in 15 of 17 specimens (88%) from unvaccinated individuals and 37 of 39 (95%) from vaccinated people. To determine whether infectious virus titers differed in vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, we performed plaque assays on an additional set of 48 samples with Ct <25, finding no difference in infectious virus titer between groups.
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