Nosocomial RSV-related in-hospital mortality in children <5 years: a global case series
According to the World Health Organization the global burden of nosocomial infections is poorly characterized as surveillance systems for nosocomial infection are lacking. Nosocomial infections occur at higher rates in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) than in high-income countries (HICs). Current global RSV burden estimates are largely based on community-acquired disease. We aimed to characterize children with nosocomial RSV-related mortality and to understand the potential impact
... of RSV immunization strategies. Methods RSV GOLD is a global registry of children younger than 5 years who died with laboratory-confirmed RSV infection. We compared clinical and demographic characteristics of children with nosocomial and community-acquired RSV in-hospital mortality. Results We included 231 nosocomial and 931 community-acquired RSV-related in-hospital deaths from 65 countries. Median age at death was similar for both groups (5.4 vs 6 months). As expected, a higher proportion of children with nosocomial infection had comorbidities (87% vs 57%; p<0.001) or was born preterm (46% vs 24%; p<0.001) than children with community-acquired infection. The proportion of nosocomial deaths among all RSV deaths was lower in LMICs than in upper-middle-income countries (UMICs) and HICs (12% vs 18% and 26%, respectively). Conclusions This is the first global case series of children dying with nosocomial RSV infection. Future infant-targeted immunization strategies can prevent the majority of nosocomial RSV-related deaths. Although nosocomial RSV deaths are expected to occur at highest rates in LMICs, the number of reported nosocomial RSV deaths was low in these countries. Hospital-based surveillance is needed to capture the full burden of nosocomial RSV mortality in LMICs.