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      Surveillance recommendations based on an exploratory analysis of respiratory syncytial virus reports derived from the European Influenza Surveillance System

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          Abstract

          Background

          Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important pathogen that can cause severe illness in infants and young children. In this study, we assessed whether data on RSV collected by the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme (EISS) could be used to build an RSV surveillance system in Europe.

          Methods

          Influenza and RSV data for the 2002–2003 winter season were analysed for England, France, the Netherlands and Scotland. Data from sentinel physician networks and other sources, mainly hospitals, were collected. Respiratory specimens were tested for influenza and RSV mainly by virus culture and polymerase chain reaction amplification.

          Results

          Data on RSV were entered timely into the EISS database. RSV contributed noticeably to influenza-like illness: in England sentinel RSV detections were common in all age groups, but particularly in young children with 20 (40.8%) of the total number of sentinel swabs testing positive for RSV. Scotland and France also reported the highest percentages of RSV detections in the 0–4 year age group, respectively 10.3% (N = 29) and 12.2% (N = 426). In the Netherlands, RSV was detected in one person aged over 65 years.

          Conclusion

          We recommend that respiratory specimens collected in influenza surveillance are also tested systematically for RSV and emphasize the use of both community derived data and data from hospitals for RSV surveillance. RSV data from the EISS have been entered in a timely manner and we consider that the EISS model can be used to develop an RSV surveillance system equivalent to the influenza surveillance in Europe.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus.

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            Respiratory syncytial virus infection in adults.

            Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is now recognized as a significant problem in certain adult populations. These include the elderly, persons with cardiopulmonary diseases, and immunocompromised hosts. Epidemiological evidence indicates that the impact of RSV in older adults may be similar to that of nonpandemic influenza. In addition, RSV has been found to cause 2 to 5% of adult community-acquired pneumonias. Attack rates in nursing homes are approximately 5 to 10% per year, with significant rates of pneumonia (10 to 20%) and death (2 to 5%). Clinical features may be difficult to distinguish from those of influenza but include nasal congestion, cough, wheezing, and low-grade fever. Bone marrow transplant patients prior to marrow engraftment are at highest risk for pneumonia and death. Diagnosis of RSV infection in adults is difficult because viral culture and antigen detection are insensitive, presumably due to low viral titers in nasal secretions, but early bronchoscopy is valuable in immunosuppressed patients. Treatment of RSV in the elderly is largely supportive, whereas early therapy with ribavirin and intravenous gamma globulin is associated with improved survival in immunocompromised persons. An effective RSV vaccine has not yet been developed, and thus prevention of RSV infection is limited to standard infection control practices such as hand washing and the use of gowns and gloves.
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              Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in elderly people: a systematic review.

              Influenza vaccination of elderly individuals is recommended worldwide. Our aim was to review the evidence of efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in individuals aged 65 years or older. We searched five electronic databases to December, 2004, in any language, for randomised (n=5), cohort (n=49), and case-control (n=10) studies, assessing efficacy against influenza (reduction in laboratory-confirmed cases) or effectiveness against influenza-like illness (reduction in symptomatic cases). We expressed vaccine efficacy or effectiveness as a proportion, using the formula VE=1-relative risk (RR) or VE*=1-odds ratio (OR). We analysed the following outcomes: influenza, influenza-like illness, hospital admissions, complications, and deaths. In homes for elderly individuals (with good vaccine match and high viral circulation) the effectiveness of vaccines against influenza-like illness was 23% (95% CI 6-36) and non-significant against influenza (RR 1.04, 0.43-2.51). Well matched vaccines prevented pneumonia (VE 46%, 30-58) and hospital admission (VE 45%, 16-64) for and deaths from influenza or pneumonia (VE 42%, 17-59), and reduced all-cause mortality (VE 60%, 23-79). In elderly individuals living in the community, vaccines were not significantly effective against influenza (RR 0.19, 0.02-2.01), influenza-like illness (RR 1.05, 0.58-1.89), or pneumonia (RR 0.88, 0.64-1.20). Well matched vaccines prevented hospital admission for influenza and pneumonia (VE 26%, 12-38) and all-cause mortality (VE 42%, 24-55). After adjustment for confounders, vaccine performance was improved for admissions to hospital for influenza or pneumonia (VE* 27%, 21-33), respiratory diseases (VE* 22%, 15-28), and cardiac disease (VE* 24%, 18-30), and for all-cause mortality (VE* 47%, 39-54). In long-term care facilities, where vaccination is most effective against complications, the aims of the vaccination campaign are fulfilled, at least in part. However, according to reliable evidence the usefulness of vaccines in the community is modest.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infectious Diseases
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2334
                2006
                9 August 2006
                : 6
                : 128
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), EISS-coordination centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Royal College of General Practitioners, Birmingham, UK
                [3 ]Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, UK
                [4 ]GROG/Open Rome, Paris, France
                [5 ]National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
                Article
                1471-2334-6-128
                10.1186/1471-2334-6-128
                1560143
                16899110
                0a91938d-b26a-40ff-967b-809cd895d1e7
                Copyright © 2006 Meerhoff et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

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