Respiratory syncytial virus infection in young children hospitalized with respiratory illness in Riyadh

J Trop Pediatr. 1993 Dec;39(6):346-9. doi: 10.1093/tropej/39.6.346.


The occurrence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection among young children hospitalized with lower respiratory tract illness, at King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, was examined during the autumn-winter season between September 1991 and February 1992. Sixty-nine cases were diagnosed by immunofluorescent antibody staining of viral antigen in nasopharyngeal aspirates from 127 children, constituting 54 per cent of these patients. Virus culture was attempted only in a few cases, yielding two isolates. Most children were < 1 year of age (median 2 months). Bronchiolitis and bronchopneumonia were the major diagnoses on admission. Hospitalization was for an average of 5 days (range 1-36 days). Treatment was supportive but most children received antibiotic therapy. There was no mortality. Few other bacterial or viral pathogens could be identified from RSV-positive or -negative patients. These results indicate that, during the season of infection, RSV may be the main pathogen of lower respiratory tract illness in hospitalized young children in this region.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Bronchiolitis / drug therapy
  • Bronchiolitis / etiology*
  • Bronchopneumonia / drug therapy
  • Bronchopneumonia / etiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / complications*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / microbiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Seasons


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents