Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Epidemiological and Clinical Features of SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating between April-December 2021 in Italy

Version 1 : Received: 14 September 2022 / Approved: 16 September 2022 / Online: 16 September 2022 (08:07:10 CEST)

How to cite: Lai, A.; Bergna, A.; Della Ventura, C.; Menzo, S.; Bruzzone, B.; Sagradi, F.; Ceccherini-Silberstein, F.; Weisz, A.; Clementi, N.; Brindicci, G.; Vicenti, I.; Sasset, L.; Caucci, S.; Corvaro, B.; Ippoliti, S.; Acciarri, C.; De Pace, V.; Lanfranchi, L.; Bellocchi, M.C.; Giurato, G.; Ferrarese, R.; Lagioia, A.; Francisci, D.; Colombo, M.L.; Lazzarin, S.; Ogliastro, M.; Cappelletti, M.R.; Iannetta, M.; Rizzo, F.; Santoro, C.R.; Fraccalvieri, C.; Testa, S.; Carioti, L.; Rocco, T.; Saracino, A.; Cattelan, A.; Clementi, M.; Sarmati, L.; Riva, A.; Antinori, S.; Zehender, G. Epidemiological and Clinical Features of SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating between April-December 2021 in Italy. Preprints 2022, 2022090241 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202209.0241.v1). Lai, A.; Bergna, A.; Della Ventura, C.; Menzo, S.; Bruzzone, B.; Sagradi, F.; Ceccherini-Silberstein, F.; Weisz, A.; Clementi, N.; Brindicci, G.; Vicenti, I.; Sasset, L.; Caucci, S.; Corvaro, B.; Ippoliti, S.; Acciarri, C.; De Pace, V.; Lanfranchi, L.; Bellocchi, M.C.; Giurato, G.; Ferrarese, R.; Lagioia, A.; Francisci, D.; Colombo, M.L.; Lazzarin, S.; Ogliastro, M.; Cappelletti, M.R.; Iannetta, M.; Rizzo, F.; Santoro, C.R.; Fraccalvieri, C.; Testa, S.; Carioti, L.; Rocco, T.; Saracino, A.; Cattelan, A.; Clementi, M.; Sarmati, L.; Riva, A.; Antinori, S.; Zehender, G. Epidemiological and Clinical Features of SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating between April-December 2021 in Italy. Preprints 2022, 2022090241 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202209.0241.v1).

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4,400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to continue variant surveillance in Italy to evaluate their epidemiological and relative impact on public health in the period April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was Delta followed by Alpha (13.3%), Omicron (5.3%) and Gamma variants (2.9%). B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu and Kappa variants represented around 1% of cases. Overall, 48.2% of subjects were not vaccinated with a lower median age compared to vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in vaccinated subjects was observed overtime, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). Variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed among Delta variant, while subjects harboring Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatics (21.6%), albeit also of deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in vac-cinated subjects, of which 47% were hospitalized. Diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at national and international level. Our study pro-vides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.

Keywords

variants circulation; SARS-CoV-2; Italy; epidemiology

Subject

LIFE SCIENCES, Virology

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