Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants in patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission for COVID-19, Northern Italy, December 2021 to January 2022


This multicenter observational study included 171 COVID-19 adult patients hospitalized in the ICUs of nine hospitals in Lombardy (Northern Italy) from December, 1st 2021, to February, 9th 2022. During the study period, the Delta/Omicron variant ratio of cases decreased with a delay of two weeks in ICU patients compared to that in the community; a higher proportion of COVID-19 unvaccinated patients was infected by Delta than by Omicron whereas a higher rate of COVID-19 boosted patients was Omicron-infected. A higher number of comorbidities and a higher comorbidity score in ICU critically COVID-19 inpatients was positively associated with the Omicron infection as well in vaccinated individuals. Although people infected by Omicron have a lower risk of severe disease than those infected by Delta variant, the outcome, including the risk of ICU admission and the need for mechanical ventilation due to infection by Omicron versus Delta, remains uncertain. The continuous monitoring of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants remains a milestone to counteract this pandemic.

Respir Med Res. 2023 Mar 3;83:100990. doi: 10.1016/j.resmer.2023.100990.


About Silvia Mongodi

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