Respiratory syncytial virus risk factors in late preterm infants

Marcello Lanari, Michela Silvestri, Giovanni A. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The key role of respiratory syncytial virus RSV in causing infant morbidity and hospitalizations is worldwide well recognized. The late preterm infants 3436 weeks of gestational age WGA showed a higher risk of hospitalization for RSV-induced infection as compared with full-term infants and similar to that seen in very preterm infants. In addition to the prematurity, a number of risk factors have been identified in 3335 WGA infants that are associated with RSV-hospitalization as demonstrated by the Canadian and the Spanish studies. However, prematurity per se is not the only factor, since RSV-hospitalization in the first year of life also occurs in numerous full-term and previously healthy infants. Indeed, a recent casecontrol study on mostly full-term children showed that chronological age at the beginning of RSV season, low birth weight, and birth order ≥1 sibling were associated with a higher likelihood to acquire RSV-induced LRTI, severe enough to lead to hospital admission. In order to maximize the cost effectiveness of immunoprophylaxis with palivizumab, the American Academy of Pediatrics have recently updated recommendations resulting in a restriction of its use to infants at highest risk of hospitalization during times when RSV is most likely to be circulating i.e. in the first 3 months of life for late preterm infants. According to a variety of epidemiologic data in this gestational age group, the risk of exposure should include day-care attendance and having a sibling

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Palivizumab
  • Preterm infants
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Risk factors
  • RSV-hospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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