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Impact of interventions and contact patterns on SARS-CoV-2 infection




Recent studies have investigated various interventions, consequent contact patterns, and the infectious effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) under changing epidemiological conditions in Italy. I am.

Current survey published on preprint server medRxiv*, It was found that when strong restrictions were imposed, relative contact within household members increased and contact decreased. This study provides an important quantification of the expected contributions of various limiting levels in the formation of social contacts that can be used to reduce the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

study: Investigate the relationship between interventions, contact patterns, and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.. Image Credit: Kzenon /


The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection surged rapidly in Italy in the fall of 2020. Immediately after this surge, the Italian government took non-pharmaceutical interventions to increase physical distance and reduce contact.

To this end, the Ministry of Health has assigned a yellow, orange, or red layer to each of the 21 Italian regions and the Autonomous Region (AP). Each color in the three layers corresponded to the increased level of restriction. The determination of local risk levels was completed after an epidemiological risk assessment based on a combination of quantitative indicators such as estimated levels of infection and burden on the medical system.

However, it is well quantified how various means of promoting physical distance change the mixing pattern and how quickly the population adapts social interactions to the continuous changes in restrictions. not.

“The underlying question that remains unresolved is whether we can predict the impact of certain interventions on the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 using mixed pattern changes related to the implemented limitations.”

To address this, the current author investigated changes in contact numbers and mixing patterns associated with the gradual tightening of non-pharmaceutical interventions adopted by the Italian government during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. bottom.

About research

In this survey, we conducted a contact survey through online interviews in the metropolitan Milan, Lombardy, Italy, from July 2020 to March 2021. In addition, the data was collected in collaboration with Centro Medico Sant’Agostino (CSM), a private medical center that is part of the National Health Service.

The researchers interviewed a total of 1,785 people. Of these, 40 study participants (2.2%) reported that they tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody prior to the interview.

In the study, researchers gathered information on the number and types of daily contacts made by study participants during the pandemic process when various intensity interventions were made. The researchers tabulated detailed sample descriptions and average daily contacts per person recorded at various levels.

From this data, researchers evaluated the effect of the adopted limits on human mixed patterns and used mathematical modeling to estimate the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on net reproduction numbers.

Researchers have defined contacts as physical interactions or two-way conversations of at least five words, for each reported contact, in the physical presence of another person.

Investigation result

Researchers, regardless of age, have found that the introduction of a graduated restriction system has a strong impact on the number of social interactions among study participants.

Researchers compared their observations with the contacts observed prior to the introduction of the gradual restriction system, which was relative to 18.9%, 34.6%, and 45.9% of the total number of mild, moderate, and severe restriction contacts. We have found that it corresponds to a decrease, each.

Researchers have reported various observations about mixed patterns. For this purpose, the most prominent changes were observed among young individuals under the age of 20. However, individuals between the ages of 20 and 29 were least affected by the change in hierarchy. Inactive individuals had a greater reduction in contact compared to students and hired individuals, while participants from larger households reported higher numbers of daily contacts at all levels.

Serological test results from participants interviewed under White Tier showed that participants who were negative for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody before the interview reported slightly higher mean contacts. rice field.

Investigating age-specific mixed patterns under different demographics, researchers have found that in addition to reducing the total number of social interactions, higher restriction levels also result in young adults (30-) with individuals of the same age. He said he increased the relative contribution of contact between (50 years old) and with individuals under 10 years old. This observation may be due to the interactions that occur between family partners and between parents and their children.

At the end of summer, the number of daily contacts per participant increased significantly. This increase can be explained by the temporary relaxation of social distance, apart from the obligation of personal protective equipment (PPE), given the improved epidemiological situation compared to the spring of 2020. However, the results also emphasize that the Christmas holidays may have been temporary. Increased indoor contact with non-family members.

NS) The colored rectangles represent the hierarchy assigned to Lombardy during the study period. The blue line represents the average number of daily contacts with each 95% CI (blue shaded area) over time. NS) The bars represent the average number of contacts reported by survey participants in different months and are stratified by the contacts that occur indoors and outdoors. The gray line represents the 95% confidence interval for the total number of daily contacts per person over different months. NS) The dashed and solid lines represent the ratio of indoor contact to contact with non-household members in different months, respectively.

In addition, researchers measured the effect of limiting SARS-CoV-2 on infectivity. For this purpose, SARS-CoV-2 reproduction numbers were estimated to decrease by 18.7%, 33.4%, and 50.2% under the yellow, orange, and red layers, respectively. Despite the analysis of contact patterns only, without direct knowledge of the actual transmission pattern, these estimates of the relative reduction in the possibility of transparency are consistent with previous findings.


Current studies have provided estimates of changes in contact numbers and mixed patterns associated with the gradual tightening of non-pharmaceutical interventions and their potential impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Researchers found that the average number of contacts recorded by study participants was generally progressively temporal, from 16.4% under mild restrictions (yellow layer) to 45.6% under strong restrictions (red layer). I found it to decrease. The number of SARS-CoV-2 reproductions was also estimated to decrease with increasing limits.

This study confirms a strong relationship between the observed dynamics and the changes that characterize the strata assigned to Lombardy during the study. Therefore, these findings help predict the impact of the interventions imposed.

*Important Notices

medRxiv Publish preliminary scientific reports that should not be considered definitive as they are not peer-reviewed, guide clinical practice / health-related behaviors, and should not be treated as established information.





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