respiratory syncytial virus
Last reviewed 01/2018
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a RNA virus of Paramyxoviridae family within the Pneumovirus genus (1).
- it is an important pathogen causing respiratory tract illness
- in children younger than 2 years - lower respiratory tract infections (e.g., bronchiolitis, pneumonia)
- can be severe in infants who are at increased risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection
- RSV is best known for causing bronchiolitis in infants (1)
- in older children and young adults - upper respiratory tract infections
- a severe lower respiratory tract disease with pneumonitis may develop in the elderly, in institutionalised adults, and in immunocompromised individuals. (2)
Previous infection may only confer partial immunity to RSV and hence individuals may be infected repeatedly with the same or different strains of RSV (1).
- (1) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease - "The Green Book". Chapter 27. Respiratory syncytial virus (January 2013)
- (2) Moore EC, Barber J, Tripp RA.Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) attachment and nonstructural proteins modify the type I interferon response associated with suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins and IFN-stimulated gene-15 (ISG15). Virol J. 2008;5:116.
risk factors for severe RSV infection