Role of respiratory synctial virus compared to rhinovirus in acute respiratory illnesses in childhood

Abstract number: P1602

Lusthusz A.M., Stam J.

Objectives: Acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are a major cause of hospitalisation in childhood. Common techniques like immunofluoresence assay (IFA) and viral cultures do not detect all predominant pathogens. With a recently introduced sensitive technique, the real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a specific diagnosis can be obtained within 24 hours. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the most common respiratory viruses in ARI in childhood that lead to hospitalisation. Another objective was comparing the sensitivity of both RT-PCR an IFA in detecting viral pathogens of ARI in childhood.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from patients admitted between September 2006 and March 2007 who were hospitalised with acute respiratory symptoms at the Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede. Data collected included nasopharyngeal aspirate samples, clinical symptoms and for some patients biochemical parameters and X-rays. Virologic diagnosis was made by both RT-PCR and IFA.

Results: Of 149 patients included with ARI, viruses were detected in 80.5%. Most common were respiratory synctial virus (RSV) (42.3%) and rhinovirus (RV) (19.5%).

The only two significant clinical difference between these two major viral pathogens were a reduced food intake and fever in the RSV-positive patients. No significant differences were found between the RSV and RV groups regarding age, needed oxygen-therapy, length of hospital stay, the presence of infiltrates on chest X-rays, biochemical parameters and administration of antibiotics.

In 8 patients (14.8%) with a RSV, the IFA was false negative.

Conclusion: Rhinovirus was the second most common virus after RSV in hospitalised infants. Except for food intake and fever, both viruses showed the same clinical pattern. So although RSV is considered to be the most virulent viral pathogen in childhood, RV has the same virulence.

The real time RT-PCR showed to be a more sensitive than the IFA technique to detect RSV infections.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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