Differentiating between persistent infection with intermittent viral shedding and reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 remains challenging. Although a small number of cases with genomic evidence of second infection have been reported, limited information exists on frequency and determinants of reinfection, time between infections, and duration of immunity after the primary infection.
We report a reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in a 52-year-old caucasian male whose primary infection was diagnosed in May 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic in Spain, and the second occurred 8 months later, in January 2021. We present a complete dataset including results from real-time polymerase chain reaction, serology, and genome sequencing confirming reinfection with a different clade. Noteworthy was that the patient was immunocompetent but had multiple cardiometabolic comorbidities, including refractory arterial hypertension, that might increase the individual risk in coronavirus disease 2019.
This case of reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 occurring several months after the primary infection reports the longest time interval between reinfection and initial infection described to date. It raises concerns on the duration of protective immunity, suggesting that it may begin to wane in patients who acquired the initial infection during the first wave of the pandemic. The potential contributing role of arterial hypertension and cardiometabolic comorbidities as risk factors for reinfection deserves investigation.