1 : Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Microbe for All Ages, Mimic of Maladies Many

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was discovered more than 4 decades ago. Infants who have been hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis have been well described as having a predilection to experience recurrent wheezing. The majority of these children appear to be clinically normal for years but are at risk for having abnormal lung function later in life. An increase in asthma among children in the United States and some other countries has been documented, and the morbidity associated with asthma has risen disproportionately in certain lower-income and minority populations, the same groups who are most likely to acquire RSV infection early and more severely. Of increasing importance is RSV's ability to become an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients. A study by researchers indicates the significance RSV as a cause of admissions for lower respiratory tract disease in previously healthy adults of all ages. In this study of community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections in individuals 18 years of age or older, RSV caused 4% of the admissions. The first means of prophylaxis was only recently made available with the 1996 licensure of high-titered polyclonal RSV immunoglobulin to RSV, which is administered intravenously once a month. The currently available technology and candidate vaccines, although not yet perfected for use in infants, may be suitable and rapidly developed for varied older populations at risk for RSV illness and its complications.

Citation: Hall C. 2000. Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Microbe for All Ages, Mimic of Maladies Many, p 1-15. In Scheld W, Craig W, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 4. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816971.ch1
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Patterns of reported cases of bronchiolitis in relation to activity of RSV in Monroe County, New York. Data obtained from a weekly community surveillance program for infectious diseases. Reprinted from ( ) with permission of the publisher.

Citation: Hall C. 2000. Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Microbe for All Ages, Mimic of Maladies Many, p 1-15. In Scheld W, Craig W, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 4. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816971.ch1
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Clinical manifestations of RSV infection in 74 adults ranging from 20 to 62 years of age. Adapted from ( ) with permission of the publisher. White bars, percentage of all subjects with documented RSV infection; black bars, percentage of those subjects with RSV infection who also had had previous RSV infection within 6 months.

Citation: Hall C. 2000. Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Microbe for All Ages, Mimic of Maladies Many, p 1-15. In Scheld W, Craig W, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 4. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816971.ch1
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