Seasonal variations of respiratory viruses detected from children with respiratory tract infections in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

J Infect Public Health. 2018 Mar-Apr;11(2):183-186. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2017.06.001. Epub 2017 Jun 28.


ARTIs have a huge impact in health systems in which 20-30% of all hospital admissions and 30-60% of practitioner visits are related to respiratory tract infections. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence, age distribution, and seasonal variation of respiratory viruses. This study was descriptive retrospective study in which all patients 14 years of age and below who presented with signs and symptoms of ARTIs between January 2013 and December 2014 and had respiratory specimen tested by direct immunofluorescence assays for viruses identification were included in the study. During that period, a total of 4611 patients who presented with ARTIs from January 2013 to December 2014 were investigated, viruses were detected in 1115 (24%). RSV was associated with 97.4% of the total viral pathogens. Viruses were detected throughout all the two years with a peak in winter; Dec (n: 265), Jan (n: 418), Feb (n: 218), and Mar (n: 109). Viral pathogens are very important cause of ARTIs in our region. RSV was the most common virus detected with the highest detection rate in children who are two years old and below. A multi-center surveillance with more sensitive detection methods like PCR may help to provide a comprehensive understanding of virus distribution in our area, which may contribute implant an effective prevention approach for each virus.

Keywords: Infectious diseases; Pediatrics; Respiratory infections; Respiratory syncytial virus; Saudi Arabia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Direct
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Seasons*
  • Viruses / classification
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*
  • Viruses / pathogenicity