Diagnosis of Syncytial Respiratory Virus (RSV) infection in children by Respiratory Panel utilized during the Covid-19 pandemic
Paola Alessandra Petrocelli, Veronica Cunsolo, Marianna Melito, Giovanni Scuderi, Rebecca Testa, Stefano Messina, Francesca Tucci, Lorenzo Sardone, Daria Colligiani, Maria Nardone, Stefano Rapi, Elisabetta Stenner
Background. In the months of October and November 2021, there was throughout Italy and in our specific case in the area of Lucca and Versilia, a disturbing increase of SARS CoV-2 infections and cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in new-borns. The aim of this paper is to compare the cases of RSV infection diagnosed in recent years to the cases recorded during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to November 2022.
Materials and methods. The study consisted of evaluating the results of requests for RSV diagnosis from 2015 to November 2022, using molecular biology techniques.
Results. The data obtained show that the number of cases of RSV infection in children during the winter season had a constant trend from 2015 to 2019. From November 2020 to February 2021 there were no cases of RSV respiratory infections. Starting from September 2021, on the other hand, there was a resumption of cases of RSV infections in conjunction with an increase in the number of children affected by COVID-19. From January 2022, after a peak in cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, there has been a decrease in RSV infections. From September 2022 to November 2022, there was no increase of cases of RSV infections in new-borns but on the contrary, there was a trend in respiratory infections comparable to the pre-pandemic period.
Conclusion. The data that emerged from the study conducted, show the onset of an outbreak of RSV in new-borns. This incidence is linked to the implementation of rigorous non- harmacological public health interventions in 2020, aimed at combating COVID-19 infection. The use of the molecular panel made it possible to identifying the responsible agent and highlighting the most suitable clinical and therapeutic path.