This study describes the first multicentered study of acute lower respiratory infection viral etiology in young children from four different geographical areas of Argentina. A total of 1,278 children under 5 years of age, hospitalized in primary care centers from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Santa Fé and Mar del Plata cities during a 2-year period were studied (1993-1994). Nasopharyngeal aspirates were investigated for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, parainfluenza, and influenza A and B viruses by indirect immunofluorescence. Out of the patients studied, 946 (74%) were under 1 year of age. Viruses were detected in 399 patients (32%). RSV was observed in 25.3% of the samples, representing 78.2% of all viral positive cases. Adenoviruses were detected in 2.5% of the cases, parainfluenza in 2.2%, influenza A in 2.1%, and influenza B in 0.2%. Compared with other viruses, the higher RSV frequency was statistically significant (P < 0.000). Most RSV cases were detected between May and September with a significant peak in July (P < 0.000). Pneumonia was observed in 46% of the patients, bronchiolitis in 41% and other entities in 13%. The case fatality rate observed during the 2 year study was 0.73%. Most of the above respiratory viruses were detected in the four cities, however, the frequency of RSV and influenza were different in the southern city.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.