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Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 1981;13(3):213-39.

Clinical and laboratory diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus infection.


Infection with RSV is one of the most common respiratory viral infections in childhood, particularly in infants under 1 year of age. The disease is characterized by epidemic proportions of infection which occur regularly in all parts of the world in the winter months. The spectrum of the clinical disease is quite variable, and the infection may present as bronchiolitis, pneumonia, croup, or exacerbation of pre-existing reactive airway disease. Recent evidence has suggested that RSV infection may be frequently associated with apnea in infancy and possibly sudden-infant-death syndrome. Although the laboratory diagnosis of this infection can be successfully accomplished by any well-known and conventional procedures, such as tissue culture infectivity and determination of serologic response, recently it has become possible to diagnose the infection very rapidly by application of such techiques as immunofluorescent staining and enzyme-linked immunonoabsorbent assay (ELISA).

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