Protection against reinfection with D614- or G614-SARS-CoV-2 isolates in golden Syrian hamster

Marco Brustolin, Jordi Rodon, María Luisa Rodríguez de la Concepción, Carlos Ávila-Nieto, Guillermo Cantero, Mónica Pérez, Nigeer Te, Marc Noguera-Julián, Víctor Guallar, Alfonso Valencia, Núria Roca, Nuria Izquierdo-Useros, Julià Blanco, Bonaventura Clotet, Albert Bensaid, Jorge Carrillo, Júlia Vergara-Alert, Joaquim Segalés

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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Reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have already been documented in humans, although its real incidence is currently unknown. Besides having a great impact on public health, this phenomenon raises the question of immunity generated by a single infection is sufficient to provide sterilizing/protective immunity to a subsequent SARS-CoV-2 re-exposure. The Golden Syrian hamster is a manageable animal model to explore immunological mechanisms able to counteract COVID-19, as it recapitulates pathological aspects of mild to moderately affected patients. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2-inoculated hamsters resolve infection in the upper and lower respiratory tracts within seven days upon inoculation with the Cat01 (G614) SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Three weeks after the primary challenge, and despite high titres of neutralizing antibodies, half of the animals were susceptible to reinfection by both identical (Cat01, G614) and variant (WA/1, D614) SARS-CoV-2 isolates. However, upon re-inoculation, only nasal tissues were transiently infected with much lower viral replication than those observed after the first inoculation. These data indicate that a primary SARS-CoV-2 infection is not sufficient to elicit a sterilizing immunity in hamster models but protects against lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmerging Microbes & Infections
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)797-809
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral/immunology
  • COVID-19/diagnosis
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Reinfection/virology
  • SARS-CoV-2/genetics
  • Viral Load
  • Virus Replication


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