Respiratory syncytial virus infection in adults: Differences with influenza

Link to article at PubMed

Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2023 Jan 7:S2529-993X(22)00314-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eimce.2022.12.013. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes an acute respiratory illness similar to influenza, although there are few data comparing both of them in adults. The existence of clinical differences between these two infections could have implications for their management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study including 63 adults with positive PCR for RSV and 221 for influenza during winter 2018-2019. Epidemiological, clinical characteristics and outcomes were contrasted between both groups.

RESULTS: Compared to influenza, RSV-positive patients presented a higher association with active neoplasia (OR=2.9; 95% CI: 1.2-6.9), dependence for basic activities of daily living (OR=3.4; 95% CI: 1.4-8.2) and immunosuppression due to chronic glucocorticoid administration (OR=7.6; 95% CI: 1.6-36.1). At diagnosis, fever was less common (OR=0.3; 95% CI: 0.2-0.7), and C-reactive protein level ≥100mg/l was more frequent (OR=2.1; 95% CI: 1.0-4.5). They developed bacterial co-infection by Staphylococcus aureus in a higher proportion (OR=8.3; 95% CI: 1.5-46.9) and presented a greater need for admission to the intensive care unit (OR=5.4; 95% CI: 1.4-19.2).

CONCLUSION: RSV is an important cause of respiratory illness in adults during the influenza season. It especially affects vulnerable patients with chronic underlying diseases, and has a higher morbidity than influenza. For all these reasons, specific detection, prevention and treatment of RSV is necessary in order to reduce the consumption of health care resources due to RSV disease in adults.

PMID:36624032 | DOI:10.1016/j.eimce.2022.12.013

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