There are currently no data regarding characteristics of critically ill patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant of concern (VOC) 20H/501Y.V2. We therefore aimed to describe changes of characteristics in critically ill patients with Covid-19 between the first and the second wave when viral genome sequencing indicated that VOC was largely dominant in Mayotte Island (Indian Ocean). Consecutive patients with Covid-19 and over 18 years admitted in the unique intensive care unit (ICU) of Mayotte during wave 2 were compared with an historical cohort of patients admitted during wave 1. We performed a LR comparing wave 1 and wave 2 as outcomes. To complete analysis, we built a Random Forest model (RF), that is, a machine learning classification tool- using the same variable set as that of the LR. We included 156 patients, 41 (26.3%) and 115 (73.7%) belonging to the first and second waves respectively. Univariate analysis did not find difference in demographic data or in mortality. Our multivariate LR found that patients in wave 2 had less fever (absence of fever aOR 5.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.89-14.48, p = .001) and a lower simplified acute physiology score (SAPS II) (aOR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91-0.99, p = .007) at admission; at 24 hours, the need of invasive mechanical ventilation was higher (aOR 3.49, 95% CI 0.98-12.51, p = .055) and pO2/FiO2 ratio was lower (aOR 0.99, 95 % CI 0.98-0.99, p = .03). Patients in wave 2 had also an increased risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (aOR 4.64, 95% CI 1.54-13.93, p = .006). Occurrence of VAP was also a key variable to classify patients between wave 1 and wave 2 in the variable importance plot of the RF model. Our data suggested that VOC 20H/501Y.V2 could be associated with a higher severity of respiratory failure at admission and a higher risk for developing VAP. We hypothesized that the expected gain in survival brought by recent improvements in critical care management could have been mitigated by increased transmissibility of the new lineage leading to admission of more severe patients. The immunological role of VOC 20H/501Y.V2 in the propensity for VAP requires further investigations.
Aries Philippe, Huet Olivier, Balicchi Julien, Mathais Quentin, Estagnasie Camille, Martin-Lecamp Gonzague, Simon Olivier, Morvan Anne-Cécile, Puech Bérénice, Subiros Marion, Blonde Renaud, Boue Yvonnick