SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve and new variants emerge. Using nationwide Danish data, we estimate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 within households. Among 22,678 primary cases, we identified 17,319 secondary infections among 50,588 household contacts during a 1-7 day follow-up. The secondary attack rate (SAR) was 29% and 39% in households infected with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, respectively. BA.2 was associated with increased susceptibility of infection for unvaccinated household contacts (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.99; 95%-CI 1.72-2.31), fully vaccinated contacts (OR 2.26; 95%-CI 1.95-2.62) and booster-vaccinated contacts (OR 2.65; 95%-CI 2.29-3.08), compared to BA.1. We also found increased infectiousness from unvaccinated primary cases infected with BA.2 compared to BA.1 (OR 2.47; 95%-CI 2.15-2.84), but not for fully vaccinated (OR 0.66; 95%-CI 0.57-0.78) or booster-vaccinated primary cases (OR 0.69; 95%-CI 0.59-0.82). Omicron BA.2 is inherently more transmissible than BA.1. Its immune-evasive properties also reduce the protective effect of vaccination against infection, but do not increase infectiousness of breakthrough infections from vaccinated individuals.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Denmark/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
In late 2021, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant overtook the previously dominant Delta variant, but the extent to which this transition was driven by immune evasion or a change in the inherent transmissibility is currently unclear. We estimate SARS-CoV-2 transmission within Danish households during December 2021. Among 26,675 households (8,568 with the Omicron VOC), we identified 14,140 secondary infections within a 1-7-day follow-up period. The secondary attack rate was 29% and 21% in households infected with Omicron and Delta, respectively. For Omicron, the odds of infection were 1.10 (95%-CI: 1.00-1.21) times higher for unvaccinated, 2.38 (95%-CI: 2.23-2.54) times higher for fully vaccinated and 3.20 (95%-CI: 2.67-3.83) times higher for booster-vaccinated contacts compared to Delta. We conclude that the transition from Delta to Omicron VOC was primarily driven by immune evasiveness and to a lesser extent an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Denmark/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Humans
Effective vaccines protect individuals by not only reducing the susceptibility to infection, but also reducing the infectiousness of breakthrough infections in vaccinated cases. To disentangle the vaccine effectiveness against susceptibility to infection (VES) and vaccine effectiveness against infectiousness (VEI), we took advantage of Danish national data comprising 24,693 households with a primary case of SARS-CoV-2 infection (Delta Variant of Concern, 2021) including 53,584 household contacts. In this setting, we estimated VES as 61% (95%-CI: 59-63), when the primary case was unvaccinated, and VEI as 31% (95%-CI: 26-36), when the household contact was unvaccinated. Furthermore, unvaccinated secondary cases with an infection exhibited a three-fold higher viral load compared to fully vaccinated secondary cases with a breakthrough infection. Our results demonstrate that vaccinations reduce susceptibility to infection as well as infectiousness, which should be considered by policy makers when seeking to understand the public health impact of vaccination against transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most serious global public health threats of recent times. Understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission is key for outbreak response and to take action against the spread of disease. Transmission within the household is a concern, especially because infection control is difficult to apply within this setting.AimThe objective of this observational study was to investigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Danish households during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.MethodsWe used comprehensive administrative register data from Denmark, comprising the full population and all COVID-19 tests from 27 February 2020 to 1 August 2020, to estimate household transmission risk and attack rate.ResultsWe found that the day after receiving a positive test result within the household, 35% (788/2,226) of potential secondary cases were tested and 13% (98/779) of these were positive. In 6,782 households, we found that 82% (1,827/2,226) of potential secondary cases were tested within 14 days and 17% (371/2,226) tested positive as secondary cases, implying an attack rate of 17%. We found an approximate linear increasing relationship between age and attack rate. We investigated the transmission risk from primary cases by age, and found an increasing risk with age of primary cases for adults (aged ≥ 15 years), while the risk seems to decrease with age for children (aged < 15 years).ConclusionsAlthough there is an increasing attack rate and transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 with age, children are also able to transmit SARS-CoV-2 within the household.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Denmark/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics
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.