The first large case series of in-hospital RSV deaths

Scheltema NM, Gentile A, Lucion F, Nokes DJ, Munywoki PK, Madhi SA, Groome MJ, Cohen C, Moyes J, Thorburn K, Thamthitiwat S, Oshitani H, Lupisan SP, Gordon A, Sanchez JF, O’Brien KL, on behalf of the PERCH Study Group, Gessner BD, Sutanto A, Mejias A, Ramilo O, Khuri-Bulos N, Halasa N, de-Paris F, Rosane Pires M, Spaeder MC, Paes BA, Simoes EAF, Leung TF, da Costa Oliveira MT, de Freitas Lazaro Emediato CC, Bassat Q, Butt W, Chi H, Aamir UB, Ali A, Lucero MG, Fasce RA, Lopez O, Rath BA, Polack FP, Papenburg J, Roglić S, Ito H, Goka EA, Grobbee DE, Nair H, Bont LJ. Global respiratory syncytial virus-associated mortality in young children (RSV GOLD): a retrospective case series. Lancet Glob Health. 2017; 5: e984–91. Available from: doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30344-3 and doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30382-0 [errata corrige].


This is the first large descriptive study (case series) reporting 358 in-hospital deaths in children with community-acquired RSV infection. The study was conducted by Scheltema and colleagues using individual case records from hospitals. Nearly one third of children studied were from low income or lower middle income countries with high RSV-related mortality. A substantial proportion of children (28% in low and lower middle income, 47% in upper middle income and 70% in high income countries) had comorbidities. In low and middle income countries (LMICs), most children who died with RSV infection were aged younger than 6 months thus reinforcing the need to immunize children in this vulnerable age group. As the majority of the RSV related deaths in children occur outside hospitals, this study represents a small proportion of all RSV related deaths worldwide. Data on comorbidities and prematurity were missing for around one third of the children studied, mainly in LMICs. The results therefore need to be interpreted with caution.

Full Article on The Lancet Global Health website.