This paper outlines the role of Lombardy’s regional influenza reference laboratory (Northern Italy) in the surveillance of influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 circulation by analyzing 631 consecutive nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) collected from ILI outpatients by sentinel physicians during the 2019–2020 season. The samples were tested by specific real-time RT-PCRs targeting SARS-CoV-2, influenza viruses, and RSVs. Results: Of these NPSs, 31% tested positive for influenza viruses, 10% for SARS-CoV-2, and 7% for RSV. No coinfections were detected. Influenza viruses and RSVs circulated throughout the surveillance period until the end of February (week 9-2020), when they suddenly ceased to circulate seven weeks earlier than during the previous five influenza seasons. After the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in our ILI outpatients at the beginning of March (week 10-2020), SARS-CoV-2 remained the only virus identified throughout the surveillance period. Patients ≥ 65 years had a 3.2-fold greater risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, while school-age children (5–14 years) and children < 5 years proved to be the age groups most at risk of contracting influenza viruses and RSV, respectively. Our experience demonstrates that laboratory-based ILI surveillance networks are essential for identifying SARS-CoV-2 cases that would otherwise remain undetected, in order to stop their spread within our communities.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic Surges during Influenza Season: Lessons Learnt from the Sentinel Laboratory-Based Surveillance of Influenza-Like Illness in Lombardy during the 2019–2020 Season / C. Galli, L. Pellegrinelli, L. Bubba, V. Primache, G. Anselmi, S. Delbue, L. Signorini, S. Binda, D. Cereda, M. Gramegna, E. Pariani. - In: VIRUSES. - ISSN 1999-4915. - 13:4(2021 Apr 16), pp. 695.1-695.11. [10.3390/v13040695]

When the COVID-19 Pandemic Surges during Influenza Season: Lessons Learnt from the Sentinel Laboratory-Based Surveillance of Influenza-Like Illness in Lombardy during the 2019–2020 Season

C. Galli
Primo
;
L. Pellegrinelli
Secondo
;
L. Bubba;V. Primache;G. Anselmi;S. Delbue;L. Signorini;S. Binda;E. Pariani
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

This paper outlines the role of Lombardy’s regional influenza reference laboratory (Northern Italy) in the surveillance of influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 circulation by analyzing 631 consecutive nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) collected from ILI outpatients by sentinel physicians during the 2019–2020 season. The samples were tested by specific real-time RT-PCRs targeting SARS-CoV-2, influenza viruses, and RSVs. Results: Of these NPSs, 31% tested positive for influenza viruses, 10% for SARS-CoV-2, and 7% for RSV. No coinfections were detected. Influenza viruses and RSVs circulated throughout the surveillance period until the end of February (week 9-2020), when they suddenly ceased to circulate seven weeks earlier than during the previous five influenza seasons. After the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in our ILI outpatients at the beginning of March (week 10-2020), SARS-CoV-2 remained the only virus identified throughout the surveillance period. Patients ≥ 65 years had a 3.2-fold greater risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, while school-age children (5–14 years) and children < 5 years proved to be the age groups most at risk of contracting influenza viruses and RSV, respectively. Our experience demonstrates that laboratory-based ILI surveillance networks are essential for identifying SARS-CoV-2 cases that would otherwise remain undetected, in order to stop their spread within our communities.
Settore MED/42 - Igiene Generale e Applicata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/838659
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