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Reinfection With SARS-CoV-2 Described in 25-Year-Old

Patient had two positive tests in April and June 2020, separated by two negative tests in May 2020

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A case of reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is described in a study published online Oct. 12 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Richard L. Tillett, Ph.D., from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and colleagues described an investigation of two instances of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a 25-year-old man who presented to health authorities on two occasions with symptoms of viral infection, once in April 2020 and a second time at the end of May and beginning of June 2020. At each presentation and twice during follow-up, nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from the patient. To confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection, nucleic acid amplification testing was conducted. Next-generation sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 extracted from nasopharyngeal swabs was performed.

The researchers found that the patient had two positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 -- on April 18, 2020, and June 5, 2020 -- and two negative tests during follow-up in May 2020. Genetically significant differences were seen between each variant associated with each instance of infection in a genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2. Symptomatically, the second infection was more severe than the first.

"It is important to note this is a singular finding and does not provide generalizability of this phenomenon. While more research is needed, the possibility of reinfections could have significant implications for our understanding of COVID-19 immunity, especially in the absence of an effective vaccine," one coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed ties to Qiagen Digital Insights.

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