Written by Kara Morris
FRIDAY, November 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — While it’s not possible to tell parents how long their child will need to stay in intensive care with a serious case of RSV, new research has uncovered evidence that may make it easier to predict which children will need a longer stay. .
To study this issue, researchers from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago used nasal swabs from children infected with RSV in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) within a few days after hospitalization.
The team examined the genes that turn on in response to RSV, which is also called respiratory syncytial virus.
Despite the same amount of RSV and the same clinical presentation, some children showed signs of more damage to the cells lining within the nostrils. The researchers found that this was associated with a longer stay in the pediatric intensive care unit.
“We were excited to learn that the severity of a child’s illness was associated with different sets of genes that were activated in their bodies’ response to RSV,” said study senior author Dr. Priya Coates, a critical care physician at Lurie Children’s. “Being able to identify children with RSV who are in intensive care will recover quickly and which patients will need a longer stay will provide invaluable information for parents and medical providers.”
While these findings are exciting, they need to be validated in a larger group of children before they can be used clinically, Coats noted.
“At this point, we’ve seen that more infections of the nasal mucous membranes in children with RSV may be a sign of a disorganized response to the virus and predict more prolonged illness,” Coats said in a hospital news release. “These are promising results that may ultimately provide better answers for parents and care team.”
The results were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on RSV.
Source: Ann and Robert H. Laurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, press release, November 2, 2022
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