Estimating transmission parameters for respiratory syncytial virus and predicting the impact of maternal and pediatric vaccination

Michiel van Boven, Anne C Teirlinck, Adam Meijer, Mariëtte Hooiveld, Christiaan H van Dorp, Rachel M Reeves, Harry Campbell, Wim van der Hoek, RESCEU Investigators

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract illness in young children and a major cause of hospital admissions globally.

Here we fit age-structured transmission models with immunity propagation to data from the Netherlands (2012–2017). Data included nationwide hospitalizations with confirmed RSV, general practitioner (GP) data on attendance for care from acute respiratory infection, and virological testing of acute respiratory infections at the GP. The transmission models, equipped with key parameter estimates, were used to predict the impact of maternal and pediatric vaccination.

Estimates of the basic reproduction number were generally high (R0 > 10 in scenarios with high statistical support), while susceptibility was estimated to be low in nonelderly adults (<10% in persons 20–64 years) and was higher in older adults (≥65 years). Scenario analyses predicted that maternal vaccination reduces the incidence of infection in vulnerable infants (<1 year) and shifts the age of first infection from infants to young children.

Pediatric vaccination is expected to reduce the incidence of infection in infants and young children (0–5 years), slightly increase incidence in 5 to 9-year-old children, and have minor indirect benefits.

Full article here.