Laboratoire Christophe Mérieux

Prevalence and clinical characteristics of human respiratory syncytial virus in Chinese adults with acute respiratory tract infection

Xiang Z, Gonzalez R, Ren L, Xiao Y, Chen L, Zhang J, Wang W, Yang Q, Li J, Zhou H, Vernet G, Paranhos-Baccala G, Wang Z, Wang J

J Med Virol. 2013 Feb;85(2):348-53


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract illnesses worldwide. Although the prevalence and clinical manifestations of the two subtypes, RSV-A and RSV-B, have been studied in some detail in infants and young children, they have not been determined in adults. To evaluate the prevalence of the RSV subtypes and disease severity between RSV-A and RSV-B infections in adults, nasal and throat swabs that were collected from patients ≥15 years old who sought medical care for acute respiratory infections at the Fever Clinic of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, China between May 2005 and April 2010. The samples were tested for RSV infection using PCR and sequencing analysis. RSV was detected in 95 (1%) of the adult patients, of whom 53 (55.8%) were positive for RSV-A and 42 (44.2%) for RSV-B. The incidence of RSV infections increased with age (χ(2) = 37.17, P = 1.66E-07). Demographic data and clinical manifestations of RSV-A were similar to those of RSV-B. Although RSV-A and RSV-B co-circulated during the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 seasons, RSV-A was predominant in the 2006-2008 seasons, whereas RSV-B was predominant in the 2009-2010 season. Upper respiratory tract infections were diagnosed in most RSV-infected patients (n = 80, 84.2%), and three patients suffered from pulmonary infection. This is the first study to provide data on the prevalence and clinical manifestations of RSV subgroups among Chinese adults with fever and acute illness, over five successive epidemic seasons.

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