Epidemiological and genomic analysis of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections during the delta and omicron epidemic waves in São Paulo City, Brazil
Ribeirão Preto Medical School ; (FHRP) Fundação Hemocentro de Ribeirão Preto ; (COVISA) Coordenadoria de Vigilância em Saúde ; Secretaria Municipal da Saúde da Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo ; (USP) Universidade de São Paulo ; (UFMG) Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais ; (FIOCRUZ) Fundação Oswaldo Cruz ; University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome
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We examined the asymptomatic rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the Delta and Omicron waves in the city of São Paulo. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected at strategic points of the city (open-air markets, bus terminals, airports) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing. Applying the questionnaire, the symptomatic individuals were excluded, and only asymptomatic cases were analyzed. During the Delta wave, a total of 4315 samples were collected, whereas 2372 samples were collected during the first Omicron wave. The incidence of the asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was 0.6% during the Delta wave and 0.8% during the Omicron wave. No statistical differences were found in the threshold amplification cycle. However, there was a statistical difference observed in the sublineage distribution between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. Our study determined the incidence of asymptomatic infection by monitoring individuals who remained symptom-free, thereby providing a reliable evaluation of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriage. Our findings reveal a relatively low proportion of asymptomatic cases, which could be attributed to our rigorous monitoring protocol for the presence of clinical symptoms. Investigating asymptomatic infection rates is crucial to develop and implement effective disease control strategies
Slavov SN, Lima ARJ, Ribeiro G, Lima LPO, Barros CRS, Marqueze EC, et al. Epidemiological and genomic analysis of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections during the delta and omicron epidemic waves in São Paulo City, Brazil. Viruses. 2023, Nov; 15, 11: 123420. doi:10.3390/v15112210.
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