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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


BECERRA, María et al. Viral etiology of severe acute respiratory infections in a pediatric intensive care unit. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2019, vol.36, n.2, pp.231-238. ISSN 1726-4634.

Objectives. To identify the main viral etiological agents in patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) hospitalized in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and to analyze their clinical characteristics. Materials and Methods. Prospective longitudinal study in children under five years of age hospitalized due to SARI at the PICU of t Instituto Nacional de Salud del Niño (National Children´s Hospital) in Lima, Peru. Real-time direct immunofluorescence and RT-PCR tests were performed for the diagnosis of respiratory viruses on tracheal aspirate or nasopharyngeal swab samples. Results. We included 117 patients. Median age was four months, 66% had comorbidity and 91% required mechanical ventilation. Respiratory virus monoinfection was identified in 47% and viral co-infection in 2.6%, with the respiratory syncytial virus subtype A (RSV-A) being the most frequent. The median length of hospitalization was 21 days and 20 (17%) patients died. An association was found between a history of chronic lung disease and RSV-A infection (p=0.045), and between Down syndrome and influenza A virus infection (p=0.01). After controlling for potential confounders, congenital heart disease (RR 3.1; 95% CI: 1.3-5.8, p=0.002) and nosocomial infection (RR 2.6; 95% CI: 1.0-5.3, p=0.01) were found to increase the risk of death in patients with SARI. Conclusions. RSV-A was the most common viral etiology in children under five hospitalized by SARI at the PICU. No association was found between viral infection and patient survival.

Keywords : Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus; Real-Time Polymerase chain reaction; Pediatric Intensive Care Units; Peru.

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