In Italy, the Alfa variant is 57.8%, while the Delta represents 22.7% of cases. This is attested by the new rapid survey conducted by the ISS and the Ministry of Health, together with the regional laboratories and the Bruno Kessler Foundation.
Delta variant at 22.7%, in 16 regions peaks of 70.6%
In Italy as of last June 22, the prevalence of the so-called Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) was 57.8%, down from 88.1% on May 18, with values ranging between the individual regions between 16.7% and 100 percent. At the same date, the so-called Gamma variant (P.1) had a prevalence of 11.8% (with a range between 0 and 37.5%, while in the previous survay it was 7.3%). The so-called Delta variant (B.1.167.2) had a prevalence of 22.7% and was identified in 16 regions and autonomous provinces, with a range between 0 and 70.6 percent. The report explains that the survey integrates routine monitoring activities, and therefore does not contain all the cases of variants detected, but only those relating to the day under consideration. The so-called Kappa variant, for example, one of the subtypes of B.1.617 (B.1.617.1), was not found in the flash survey, but several cases were reported on the integrated platform which instead collects the analyzes day by day. All the regions and autonomous provinces and a total of 113 laboratories participated in the survey. 772 samples were sequenced.
Brusaferro: “Systematic tracking is fundamental”
«The growth in the prevalence of the Delta variant – commented ISS president Silvio Brusaferro – is an expected figure, which must be monitored with great attention. It is essential to continue the systematic tracking of cases to identify the outbreaks, which at this time is made possible by the low incidence, and to complete the vaccination cycle as quickly as possible, since, as confirmed yesterday (1 July 2021, ed.) By the ‘Ema, this guarantees the best protection ».
Delta variant on the rise
The report points out that «in the Italian context, in which the vaccination campaign has not yet reached sufficient coverage in all age groups, the spread of variants with greater transmissibility can have a significant impact. While the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), although still predominant, has decreased its prevalence estimate at national level, the survey shows that the Gamma variant (P.1 and its sub-lineages) has a slight prevalence increase compared to the previous survey and that the Delta variant (B.1.167.2) is increasing ». In the document it is specified that with respect to this data it must be considered that the prevalence could be overestimated due to the presence of numerous outbreaks (which are identified and therefore investigated more extensively) in the various regions and autonomous provinces.
Variant monitoring is fundamental
The document indicates that in the current European and national scenario, characterized by the circulation of different variants, “it is necessary to continue to monitor with great attention, in line with national and international recommendations and with ministerial indications, the diffusion of variants and in particular of those with greater transmissibility or with mutations related to potential evasion of the immune response “. In order to contain the impact, it is very important to maintain the incidence at values that allow the systematic tracing of most of the positive cases and the massive sequencing of the new coronavirus, “to identify early and control the evolution of genetic variants in our country”.