Virological surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in an Italian Northern area: differences in gender, age and Real Time RT PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values in three epidemic periods.

Virological surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in an Italian Northern area: differences in gender, age and Real Time RT PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values in three epidemic periods.

Authors

Keywords:

SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, age, gender, Real Time RT PCR, Cycle threshold (Ct) values

Abstract

Background and aim of the work: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global public health emergency. The aim of this study was to investigate cases characteristics and Real Time RT PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values distribution of COVID-19 in an Italian Northern area during three periods: first period, February-May 2020; second period, June-August 2020; third period, September 2020-February 2021. Methods: Real Time RT PCR was used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples (oro/nasopharyngeal swabs). Results: A total of 254,744 samples were tested during the study period. Out of 20,188 positive samples (7.92%), 10,303 were females (51.04%) and 9,885 were males (48.96%). The percentage of positivity varied during the three different periods: 14.1% in the first period, 1.4% in the second and 9.2% in the third. The lowest Ct values were observed in the first phase of pandemic, with an overall average of 25.64. Overall average of the Ct values was lower in males than in females, 26.29 ± 6.04 and 26.84 ± 5.99 respectively. The oldest patients recorded lower Ct values. Conclusions: The findings of our study represent further evidence in support of the fact that male sex and older age showed lower Ct values, which means higher viral loads and higher infectious potential. These knowledges are useful to better understand the epidemiological aspects of COVID-19 and to perform effective Public Health Policies.

References

Signorelli C, Scognamiglio T, Odone A. COVID-19 in Italy: impact of containment measures and prevalence estimates of infection in the general population. Acta bio-medica 2020;91(3-s): 175-79

World Health Organization - WHO. COVID 19 Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) Global research and innovation forum: towards a research roadmap. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/covid-19-public-health-emergency-of-international-concern-(pheic)-global-research-and-innovation-forum (last accessed on 06 September 2021).

Giordano G, Blanchini F, Bruno R et al. Modelling the COVID-19 epidemic and implementation of population-wide interventions in Italy. Nat Med. 2020; 26(6): 855-60.

Figliozzi S, Masci PG, Ahmadi N et al. Predictors of adverse prognosis in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Invest. 2020; 50(10): e13362.

Zheng Z, Peng F, Xu B et al. Risk factors of critical & mortal COVID-19 cases: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis. J Infect. 2020; 81(2): e16-e25.

Odone A, Delmonte D, Scognamiglio T, Signorelli C. COVID-19 deaths in Lombardy, Italy: data in context.The Lancet Public Health 2020; 5(6):e310

Gianicolo EAL, Russo A, Büchler B, Taylor K, Stang A, Blettner M. Gender specific excess mortality in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic accounting for age. Eur J Epidemiol. 2021; 36(2):213-18.

Kleiboeker S, Cowden S, Grantham J et al. SARS-CoV-2 viral load assessment in respiratory samples. J Clin Virol. 2020; 129: 104439.

Grasselli G, Greco M, Zanella A et al. Risk Factors Associated with Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19 in Intensive Care Units in Lombardy, Italy. JAMA Intern Med. 2020; 180(10): 1345- 55.

Suleyman G, Fadel RA, Malette KM et al. Characteristics and Morbidity Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a Series of Patients in Metropolitan Detroit. JAMA Netw Open. 2020; 3(6): e2012270.

Signorelli C, Odone A. Age-specific COVID-19 case-fatality rate: no evidence of changes over time. International journal of public health 2020; 65(8): 1435-6.

De la Calle C, Lalueza A, Mancheño-Losa M et al. Impact of viral load at admission on the development of respiratory failure in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021; 40(6): 1209-216.

Jin JM, Bai P, He W et al. Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality. Front Public Health. 2020; 8:152.

Wenham C, Smith J, Morgan R et al. COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak. Lancet. 2020; 395(10227): 846-48.

Ebinger JE, Achamallah N, Ji H et al. Pre-existing traits associated with Covid-19 illness severity. PLoS One. 2020; 15(7): e0236240.

CDC. (2019). Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-time rRT-PCR Panel Primers and Probes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/rt-pcr-panel-primer-probes.pdf. (last accessed on 28 June 2020).

Veronesi L, Colucci ME, Pasquarella C et al. Virological surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in an Italian northern area: comparison of Real Time RT PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values in three epidemic periods. Acta Biomed 2020; 91(9-S): 19-21.

Pasquarella C, Colucci ME, Bizzarro A et al. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 on hospital surfaces. Acta Biomed. 2020; 91(9-S):76-78.

De Natale G, De Natale L, Troise C et al. The Evolution of Covid-19 in Italy after the Spring of 2020: An Unpredicted Summer Respite Followed by a Second Wave. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020; 17(23): 8708.

Scafetta N. Distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and Its Monthly Forecast Based on Seasonal Climate Patterns. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020; 17(10): 3493.

Colucci ME, Affanni P, Cantarelli A et al. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in children: a retrospective study on eight post-pandemic seasons with trivalent inactivated vaccine. Acta Biomed. 2020; 91(3-S):63-70.

Colucci ME, Veronesi L, Bracchi MT et al. On field vaccine effectiveness in three periods of 2018/2019 influenza season in Emilia-Romagna Region. Acta Biomed. 2019; 90(9-S): 21-27.

Odone A, Bucci D, Croci R, Riccò M, Affanni P, Signorelli C. Vaccine hesitancy in COVID-19 times. An update from Italy before flu season starts. Acta Biomed. 2020; 91(3): e2020031.

Bellino S, Bella A, Puzelli S et al. Moderate influenza vaccine effectiveness against A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, and low effectiveness against A(H3N2) subtype, 2018/19 season in Italy. Expert Review of Vaccines 2019; 18(11): 1201-209.

Conte C, Sogni F, Affanni P, Veronesi L, Argentiero A, Esposito S. Vaccines against Coronaviruses: The State of the Art. Vaccines (Basel). 2020; 8(2): 309.

Downloads

Published

07-10-2021

How to Cite

1.
Virological surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in an Italian Northern area: differences in gender, age and Real Time RT PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values in three epidemic periods. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2021 Oct. 7 [cited 2024 Jun. 22];92(S6):e2021457. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/12268