Shorter serial intervals in SARS-CoV-2 cases with Omicron BA.1 variant compared with Delta variant, the Netherlands, 13 to 26 December 2021

Euro Surveill. 2022 Feb;27(6):2200042. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.6.2200042.


The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has a growth advantage over the Delta variant because of higher transmissibility, immune evasion or shorter serial interval. Using S gene target failure (SGTF) as indication for Omicron BA.1, we identified 908 SGTF and 1,621 non-SGTF serial intervals in the same period. Within households, the mean serial interval for SGTF cases was 0.2-0.6 days shorter than for non-SGTF cases. This suggests that the growth advantage of Omicron is partly due to a shorter serial interval.

Keywords: COVID-19; Incubation period; Omicron variant; SARS-CoV-2; serial interval; transmission pairs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • SARS-CoV-2*

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants