Prevalence, risk factors and clinical characteristics of respiratory syncytial virus–associated lower respiratory tract infections in Kelantan, Malaysia

Kew Seih Teck, Rhanye Mac Guad, Amin Hans Van Rostenberghe, Gan Siew Hua

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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common pathogen affecting the respiratory tract in infants. To date, there is limited data on RSV occurrence in Malaysia especially in the northeast of Peninsular Malaysia which is significantly affected by the rainy (monsoon) season. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, risk factors (the presence of a male sibling and older school-age siblings, parental education level, monthly income, chronic lung disease, immunocompromised, being a passive smoker, multipara, breastfeeding, prematurity, congenital heart disease, nursery attendance, and rainy season) as well as clinical manifestations of RSV in hospitalized infants and children with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). Patients' nasopharyngeal aspirates were tested for RSV antigen, questionnaires, and seasonal variations were used to assess RSV infection. Approximately 22.6% of children were infected with RSV; mean age 7.68 ± 5.45 months. The peak incidence of RSV as a causative agent for LRTI in infants was less than or equal to 1-year old (83%) with approximately 50.5% of the affected children in the younger age group (6 months amd below). RSV infection was significantly but independently associated with the rainy season (odds ratio, 3.307; 95% confidence interval, 1.443-3.688; P < 0.001). The infection was also associated (P < 0.05) with a higher number of severe clinical courses, poor feeding, vomiting, increased need for medical care and a shorter mean duration of symptoms before hospital admission. Our study suggested administration of the passive prophylaxis for RSV to high-risk infants during the rainy season in the months of October to January.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1608-1615
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • antiviral agents
  • epidemiology
  • influenza virus
  • protease inhibitor
  • respiratory syncytial virus
  • seasonal incidence
  • virus classification

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