Cross-sectional case-control studies (Blue)
A novel variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Delta variant of concern (VOC, also known as lineage B.1.617.2), is fast becoming the dominant strain globally. In this article the authors reported the epidemiological, viral, and clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients infected with the Delta VOC during the local outbreak in Guangzhou, China. They extracted the epidemiological and clinical information pertaining to the 159 cases infected with the Delta VOC across seven transmission generations between May 21 and June 18, 2021. The whole chain of the Delta VOC transmission was described. Kinetics of viral load and clinical characteristics were compared with a cohort of wild-type infection in 2020 admitted to the Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital. There were four transmission generations within the first ten days. The Delta VOC yielded a significantly shorter incubation period (4.0 vs. 6.0 days), higher viral load (20.6 vs. 34.0, cycle threshold of the ORF1a/b gene), and a longer duration of viral shedding in pharyngeal swab samples (14.0 vs. 8.0 days) compared with the wild-type strain. In cases with critical illness, the proportion of patients over the age of 60 was higher in the Delta VOC group than in the wild-type strain (100.0% vs. 69.2%, p = 0.03). The Delta VOC had a higher risk than wild-type infection in deterioration to critical status (hazards ratio 2.98 [95%CI 1.29-6.86]; p = 0.01). The authors concluded that infection with the Delta VOC is characterized by markedly increased transmissibility, viral loads and risk of disease progression compared with the wild-type strain, calling for more intensive prevention and control measures to contain future outbreaks.
Wang Y, Chen R, Hu F, Lan Y, Yang Z, Zhan C, Shi J, Deng X, Jiang M, Zhong S, Liao B, Deng K, Tang J, Guo L, Jiang M, Fan Q, Li M, Liu J, Shi Y, Deng X, Xiao X, Kang M, Li Y, Guan W, Li Y, Li S, Li F, Zhong N, Tang X. Transmission, viral kinetics and clinical characteristics of the emergent SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC in Guangzhou, China. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 Oct;40:101129. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101129.