Increased transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 by age and viral load

Frederik Plesner Lyngse*, Kåre Mølbak, Robert Leo Skov, Lasse Engbo Christiansen, Laust Hvas Mortensen, Mads Albertsen, Camilla Holten Møller, Tyra Grove Krause, Morten Rasmussen, Thomas Yssing Michaelsen, Marianne Voldstedlund, Jannik Fonager, Nina Steenhard, Danish Covid-19 Genome Consortium, Carsten Thure Kirkeby, Mads Albertsen (Member of study group), Jakob Brandt (Member of study group), Simon Knutsson (Member of study group), Emil Aarre Sørensen (Member of study group), Thomas Nymann (Member of study group)Celine Petersen (Member of study group), Clarisse Eve Chiche-Lapierre (Member of study group), Frederik Teilfeldt Hansen (Member of study group), Emilio Fuster Collados (Member of study group), Amalie Berg (Member of study group), Susanne Remmer Bielidt (Member of study group), Sebastian Mølvang Dall (Member of study group), Erika Dvarionaite (Member of study group), Susan Hove Hansen (Member of study group), Vibeke Rudkjøbing Jørgensen (Member of study group), Trine Buus Nicolajsen (Member of study group), Wagma Saei (Member of study group), Stine Karstenskov Østergaard (Member of study group), Thomas Yssing Michaelsen (Member of study group), Vang Le-Quy (Member of study group), Mantas Sereika (Member of study group), Rasmus Hansen Kirkegaard (Member of study group), Kasper Skytte Andersen (Member of study group), Martin Hjorth Andersen (Member of study group), Karsten Kryger Hansen (Member of study group), Mads Boye (Member of study group), Mads Peter Bach (Member of study group), Peter Dissing (Member of study group), Anton Drastrup-Fjordbak (Member of study group), Michael Collin (Member of study group), Finn Büttner (Member of study group), Susanne Andersen (Member of study group), Lea Sass Otte (Member of study group), Martin Bøgsted (Member of study group), Rasmus Froberg Brøndum (Member of study group), Katja Hose (Member of study group), Tomer Sagi (Member of study group), Miroslav Pakanec (Member of study group), Henrik Bygum Krarup (Member of study group), David Fuglsang-Damgaard (Member of study group), Mette Mølvadgaard (Member of study group)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

New lineages of SARS-CoV-2 are of potential concern due to higher transmissibility, risk of severe outcomes, and/or escape from neutralizing antibodies. Lineage B.1.1.7 (the Alpha variant) became dominant in early 2021, but the association between transmissibility and risk factors, such as age of primary case and viral load remains poorly understood. Here, we used comprehensive administrative data from Denmark, comprising the full population (January 11 to February 7, 2021), to estimate household transmissibility. This study included 5,241 households with primary cases; 808 were infected with lineage B.1.1.7 and 4,433 with other lineages. Here, we report an attack rate of 38% in households with a primary case infected with B.1.1.7 and 27% in households with other lineages. Primary cases infected with B.1.1.7 had an increased transmissibility of 1.5-1.7 times that of primary cases infected with other lineages. The increased transmissibility of B.1.1.7 was multiplicative across age and viral load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7251
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021. The Author(s).

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