Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population is defined by distributions of mutants that are present at different frequencies within the infected host and can be detected by ultra-deep sequencing techniques. In this study, we examined the SARS-CoV-2 mutant spectra of amplicons from the spike-coding (S-coding) region of 5 nasopharyngeal isolates derived from patients with vaccine breakthrough. Interestingly, all patients became infected with the Alpha variant, but amino acid substitutions that correspond to the Delta Plus, Iota, and Omicron variants were present in the mutant spectra of the resident virus. Deep sequencing analysis of SARS-CoV-2 from patients with vaccine breakthrough revealed a rich reservoir of mutant types and may also identify tolerated substitutions that can be represented in epidemiologically dominant variants.
Brenda Martínez-González, Lucía Vázquez-Sirvent, María E. Soria, Pablo Mínguez, Llanos Salar-Vidal, Carlos García-Crespo, Isabel Gallego, Ana I. de Ávila, Carlos Llorens, Beatriz Soriano, Ricardo Ramos-Ruiz, Jaime Esteban, Ricardo Fernandez-Roblas, Ignacio Gadea, Carmen Ayuso, Javier Ruíz-Hornillos, Concepción Pérez-Jorge, Esteban Domingo, Celia Perales
(A) Heatmaps of mutations that define the SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Delta Plus, and Iota as described by the WHO and Omicron as described by Sun et al.