Burden of respiratory syncytial virus in hospitalized infants and young children in Amman, Jordan

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Acute respiratory infections (ARI) play a major role in hospitalizations in the Middle East, but the specific viral causes are unknown. We conducted prospective viral surveillance in children < 5 y of age admitted with ARI and/or fever at 2 dissimilar hospitals in Amman, Jordan during peak respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season. We collected prospective clinical and demographic data and obtained nose/throat swabs for testing for RSV by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We obtained clinical and laboratory data for 728/743 (98%) subjects enrolled. The children's median age was 4.3 months, 58.4% were males, 87% were breastfed, 4% attended day care, 67% were exposed to smokers, 7% were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 0.7% died (n = 5). Out of 728 subjects, 467 (64%) tested positive by RT-PCR for RSV. Comparing RSV-positive with RSV-negative subjects, the RSV-positive subjects had lower median age (3.6 vs 6.4 months, p < 0.001) and fewer males (55% vs 64%, p = 0.02). RSV-positive children had higher rates of oxygen use (72% vs 42%, p < 0.001), a longer hospital stay (5 vs 4 days, p = 0.001), and higher hospital charges (US$538 vs US$431, p < 0.001) than RSV-negative children. In young hospitalized Jordanian infants, the medical and financial burden of RSV was found to be high. Effective preventive measures, such as an RSV vaccine, would have a significant beneficial impact.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases