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Vol. 8 - Num. 32

Brief Reports

Epidemiology and prevention of respiratory syncytial virus

Roberto Ortiz Movillaa, Blanca Álvarez Fernándezb, L Martínez Bernat, E Iglesias González-Nicolás, M Muro Brussi

aUnidad de Neonatología. Servicio de Pediatría. Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro. Majadahonda. Madrid. España.
bServicio de Pediatría. Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos. Móstoles. Madrid. España.

Correspondence: R Ortiz. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Ortiz Movilla R, Álvarez Fernández B, Martínez Bernat L, Iglesias González-Nicolás E, Muro Brussi M. Epidemiology and prevention of respiratory syncytial virus. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2006;8:627-40.

Published in Internet: 31-12-2006 - Visits: 11441


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very frequent respiratory pathogen in toddlers and children, although it can cause acute respiratory disease at any age. It is the main cause for hospitalization due to respiratory illness in children (bronchiolitis and pneumonia) and a very common reason for consultation in Primary Health Care. Practically all children have been infected with RSV by the time they are three years old, having needed hospitalization 1% of the cases, which implies a very important impact in terms of morbidity and sanitary cost. Children with heart disease, immunodeficiencies, serious underlying lung disease or those who are premature are liable to suffer much more complicated infections by RSV and are therefore susceptible to receiving passive prevention with palivizumab (administration of specific monoclonal antibodies). In this article we will review the epidemiology of RSV in our environment and discuss preventive measures, criteria for palivizumab administration amongst different risk groups and future investigation lines to prevent infection by this pathogen.


Bronchiolitis Palivizumab Prophylaxis Respiratory syncytial virus

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