Prevalence of respiratory syncytial virus infection among children hospitalized with acute lower respiratory tract infections in Southern India

Sandesh Kini, Bhuvanesh Sukhlal Kalal, Sara Chandy, Ranjani Shamsundar, Anita Shet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of lower respiratory infections among children. AIM To investigate the proportion of RSV and non-RSV respiratory viral infections among hospitalized children ≤ 5 years. METHODS Hospitalized children aged < 5 years, with a diagnosis of acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI), admitted between August 2011-August 2013, were included. Cases were defined as laboratory-confirmed RSV and non-RSV respiratory viruses by direct fluorescence assay from the nasopharyngeal wash. RESULTS Of 383 1-59 mo old children hospitalized with an acute lower respiratory infection, 33.9% (130/383) had evidence of viral infection, and RSV was detected in 24.5% (94/383). Co-infections with RSV and other respiratory viruses (influenza A or B, adenovirus, para influenza 1, 2 or 3) were seen in children 5.5% (21/383). Over 90% of the RSV-positive children were under 2 years of age. RSV was detected throughout the year with peaks seen after the monsoon season. Children hospitalized with RSV infection were more likely to have been exposed to a shorter duration of breastfeeding of less than 3 mo. RSV positive children had a shorter hospital stay, although there were significant complications requiring intensive care. Use of antibiotics was high among those with RSV and non-RSV viral infections. CONCLUSION Our study provides evidence of a high proportion of RSV and other virus-associated ALRI among hospitalized children in India. RSV infection was associated with fewer days of hospital stay compared to other causes of lower respiratory infections. A high level of antibiotic use was seen among all respiratory virus-associated hospitalizations. These results suggest the need for implementing routine diagnostics for respiratory pathogens in order to minimize the use of unnecessary antibiotics and plan prevention strategies among pediatric populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Pediatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 09-04-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of respiratory syncytial virus infection among children hospitalized with acute lower respiratory tract infections in Southern India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this