health day reporter
FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — While it’s impossible to tell parents how long their children will need intensive care for RSV in an intensive care unit, new research has uncovered clues that could turn things around It is easier to predict which children will need longer stays.
To investigate this question, researchers at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago used nasal swabs from children with RSV in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) within days of admission.
The team examined which genes are turned on in response to RSV, also known as respiratory syncytial virus.
Although the numbers and clinical presentation of RSV were the same, some children showed signs of greater damage to the cells lining the nostrils. The researchers found that this was associated with a longer PICU stay.
“We were delighted to find that the severity of disease in children associated with different genomes was switched on in their body’s response to RSV,” said senior study author Dr. Bria Coates, an intensivist at Lurie Children’s. “Being able to determine which RSV infants in intensive care will recover quickly and which patients will require longer hospitalizations will provide valuable information for parents and healthcare providers.”
Coates noted that while exciting, the findings need to be validated in larger groups of children before they can be used clinically.
“At this stage, we found that nasal mucosal damage in children with RSV is more likely to be a marker of a dysregulated response to the virus and a predictor of longer-term disease,” Coates said in a hospital news release. “These promising findings may ultimately lead to better answers for parents and care teams.”
The findings were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about RSV.
Source: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Press Release, November 2, 2022