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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2018 Oct-Dec;36(4):458-464. doi: 10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_19_5.

Respiratory syncytial virus infections in India: Epidemiology and need for vaccine.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, Haryana, India.
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.
Department of Microbiology, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital, New Delhi, India.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been identified as a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in young children and elderly. It is an enveloped negative-sense RNA virus belonging to Genus Orthopneumovirus. The clinical features of RSV infection range from mild upper-respiratory-tract illnesses or otitis media to severe lower-respiratory-tract illnesses. Current estimates show that about 33.1 million episodes of RSV-acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) occurred in young children in 2015, of these majority that is, about 30 million RSV-ALRI episodes occurred in low-middle-income countries. In India, the rates of RSV detection in various hospital- and community-based studies mostly done in children vary from 5% to 54% and from 8% to 15%, respectively. Globally, RSV epidemics start in the South moving to the North. In India, RSV mainly peaks in winter in North India and some correlation with low temperature has been observed. Different genotypes of Group A (GA2, GA5, NA1 and ON1) and Group B (GB2, SAB4 and BA) have been described from India. The burden of RSV globally has kept it a high priority for vaccine development. After nearly 50 years of attempts, there is still no licensed vaccine and challenges to obtain a safe and effective vaccine is still facing the scientific community. The data in this review have been extracted from PubMed using the keywords RSV and Epidemiology and India. The data have been synthesised by the authors.


Acute lower respiratory infection; India; acute respiratory infection; epidemiology; respiratory syncytial virus


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