Summer outbreak of severe RSV-B disease, Minnesota, 2017 associated with emergence of a genetically distinct viral lineage

Beth K Thielen, Erica Bye, Xiong Wang, Stacene Maroushek, Hannah Friedlander, Sarah Bistodeau, Jaime Christensen, Erik Reisdorf, Meghan H Shilts, Karen Martin, Kathryn Como-Sabetti, Anna K Strain, Patricia Ferrieri, Ruth Lynfield


This study describes a newly identified RSV strain that emerged in Minesota in the United states in summer 2017. The observed strain was responsible for double the out of season cases of RSV during the summer of circulation. This strain was the dominant strain in circultion in the subsequent RSV season and was associated with a much higher rate of admission to the ICU (55%) when compared to out of season RSV infections of previous years, which averaged 12% of detected RSV infections over the previous three years. Sequencing of the virus identified a unique clade all sharing a single conserved non-synonymous change in the SH gene. While new strains and subclades of RSV are frequently identified, a strain associated with such a marked increase in both rates of infection and proportion of severe infections is noteworthy.

Full article on PubMed.