Molecular Epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Viruses in Ghana
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of acute lower respiratory illness (ALRI) in infants and children globally, and may also cause significant morbidity and mortality in older adults and immunocompromised persons. There are currently no effective preventative options available. However, a renaissance in prevention strategies is unfolding, with several new prophylactic options such as monoclonal antibodies and maternal vaccinations that are soon to be available.
In Ghana, about 13% of childhood deaths are due to ALRI which represents a substantial burden on health care systems. Despite this greater recognition causes of ALRI are rarely sought. Also, collection or analysis of surveillance data for RSV is rarely performed and investigations on the impact of respiratory viruses including RSV disease burden in Ghana remain limited and poorly defined.
Here we propose a prospective hospital-based study in selected facilities among children in Ghana using a nationwide sentinel approach. More importantly, this study will improve upon the diagnosis and management of ALRI, as well as establish a baseline against which future vaccines can be evaluated once they become available.
Aim: To determine the incidences and clinical features of RSV in children with ALRI with respect to age, timely circulation, and characterization of circulating strains.
The specific objectives are:
- To conduct a survey on RSV prevalence and disease burden in hospitalized and community children diagnosed with acute respiratory infections.
- To identify clinical manifestations and risk factors associated with severe RSV infections.
- To detection of other viral respiratory pathogens to assess co-morbidity and contribution to clinical outcomes among RSV patients
- To determine the RSV circulating genotypes and circulation patterns in Ghana
Preliminary data suggests that there is a high burden of ALRI in Ghanaian children and determined the highest incidence of RSV mainly in infants. These findings will enable to set up diagnostics in these age groups.
- Sentinel Sites Visits
- Sample Collection
- Routine sample processing techniques
- Molecular – RT-PCR
- Cell culture
- Neutralization assays
- Genomic sequencing
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