Background: Identifying determinants of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in settings of contagion is fundamental to inform containment strategies. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold value (Ct) from the first diagnostic nasal–pharyngeal swab of symptomatic index cases and which demographic or clinical characteristics among cases and contacts are associated with transmission risk within households. Methods: This is a retrospective prevalence study on secondary SARS-CoV-2 cases (SC) among the household contacts of symptomatic adult index cases randomly sampled from all the SARS-CoV-2-positive diagnostic nasopharyngeal swabs analyzed at our regional referral hospital (Amedeo di Savoia Hospital, Turin, Italy) in March, 2020. Index cases underwent a telephone survey to collect their demographic and clinical data and all their household contacts. The Ct value of RdRp gene from the first diagnostic swab of index cases was recorded and index cases were grouped according to Ct tertiles (A < first tertile, first ≤ B ≤ second tertile, C ≥ second tertile). Post hoc analysis was performed in SC as well as contacts that did not undergo SARS-CoV-2 testing but developed compatible signs and symptoms. Non-parametric tests and generalized linear models were run. Results: Index (n = 72) and contact (n = 164) median age was 54 (48–63) and 32 (20–56) years, respectively. A total of 60, 50, and 54 subjects were contacts of group A, B, and C index cases, respectively; 35.9% of contacts were SC. Twenty-four further subjects (14.6%) met the criteria for symptom-based likely positive SC. The secondary attack rate was 36.0% (28.6–43.4), assuming a mean incubation period of 5 days and a maximum infectious period of 20 days. SC prevalence differed between Ct groups (53.3% A, 32.0% B, 20.4% C; p < 0.001). No difference in SC was found according to sex, presence of signs/symptoms, and COVID-19 severity of index cases, or according to contacts’ sex and number per household. The age of both index cases [aOR 4.52 (1.2–17.0) for 60 vs. ≤45 years old] and contacts [aOR 3.66 (1.3–10.6) for 60 vs. ≤45years old] and the Ct of the index [aOR 0.17 (0.07–0.4) for Ct ≥ 31.8 vs. Ct < 24.4] independently associated with SC risk. Sensitivity analysis including symptoms-based likely positive SC supported all the previous results. Conclusion: In confined transmission settings such as households, PCR Ct values may inform on the contagiousness of infected subjects and age may modulate transmission/contagion risk.

Determinants of SARS-CoV-2 Contagiousness in Household Contacts of Symptomatic Adult Index Cases

Trunfio M.;Richiardi L.;Alladio F.;Staffilano E.;Longo B.;Venuti F.;Bonora S.;Vineis P.;Di Perri G.;Calcagno A.
2022

Abstract

Background: Identifying determinants of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in settings of contagion is fundamental to inform containment strategies. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold value (Ct) from the first diagnostic nasal–pharyngeal swab of symptomatic index cases and which demographic or clinical characteristics among cases and contacts are associated with transmission risk within households. Methods: This is a retrospective prevalence study on secondary SARS-CoV-2 cases (SC) among the household contacts of symptomatic adult index cases randomly sampled from all the SARS-CoV-2-positive diagnostic nasopharyngeal swabs analyzed at our regional referral hospital (Amedeo di Savoia Hospital, Turin, Italy) in March, 2020. Index cases underwent a telephone survey to collect their demographic and clinical data and all their household contacts. The Ct value of RdRp gene from the first diagnostic swab of index cases was recorded and index cases were grouped according to Ct tertiles (A < first tertile, first ≤ B ≤ second tertile, C ≥ second tertile). Post hoc analysis was performed in SC as well as contacts that did not undergo SARS-CoV-2 testing but developed compatible signs and symptoms. Non-parametric tests and generalized linear models were run. Results: Index (n = 72) and contact (n = 164) median age was 54 (48–63) and 32 (20–56) years, respectively. A total of 60, 50, and 54 subjects were contacts of group A, B, and C index cases, respectively; 35.9% of contacts were SC. Twenty-four further subjects (14.6%) met the criteria for symptom-based likely positive SC. The secondary attack rate was 36.0% (28.6–43.4), assuming a mean incubation period of 5 days and a maximum infectious period of 20 days. SC prevalence differed between Ct groups (53.3% A, 32.0% B, 20.4% C; p < 0.001). No difference in SC was found according to sex, presence of signs/symptoms, and COVID-19 severity of index cases, or according to contacts’ sex and number per household. The age of both index cases [aOR 4.52 (1.2–17.0) for 60 vs. ≤45 years old] and contacts [aOR 3.66 (1.3–10.6) for 60 vs. ≤45years old] and the Ct of the index [aOR 0.17 (0.07–0.4) for Ct ≥ 31.8 vs. Ct < 24.4] independently associated with SC risk. Sensitivity analysis including symptoms-based likely positive SC supported all the previous results. Conclusion: In confined transmission settings such as households, PCR Ct values may inform on the contagiousness of infected subjects and age may modulate transmission/contagion risk.
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age; contagiousness; cycle threshold; household; SARS-CoV-2; transmission risk; viral load
Trunfio M.; Richiardi L.; Alladio F.; Staffilano E.; Longo B.; Venuti F.; Ghisetti V.; Burdino E.; Bonora S.; Vineis P.; Di Perri G.; Calcagno A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1862099
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