Duration: 2019 - ongoing
Research on the burden of RSV in the Community Network
Project RSV ComNet
Duration: 2019 - ongoing
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of acute lower respiratory infections in children. By the age of one year, 60-70% of the children have been infected by RSV and almost all children have been infected by two years of age.
In Western countries, mortality due to RSV is rare. Hospitalization rates in young children are estimated to be 0.6 to 42.7 cases per 1000 children, with higher rates in younger children. Accurate estimates of the burden of RSV, including in primary care, are necessary to assess the overall impact RSV has on the society. This knowledge is critical for policymakers to make informed decisions regarding the introduction of new RSV interventions.
Aim of RSV ComNet
The aim of RSV ComNet is to measure the clinical and socio-economic disease burden of RSV in young children (aged <5 years) in primary care.
Project design and planning
The project was started in 2019 and continued in the winter of 2020/2021. It consist of the following steps:
- RSV ComNet I: Development and evaluation of the standardized disease burden protocol to measure the clinical and socio-economic disease burden of RSV infections in young children in primary care – winter 2019/2020
The focus of RSV ComNet I was to develop and evaluate a standardized disease burden protocol to measure the clinical and socio-economic disease burden of RSV infections in young children (<5 years) in primary care. The second aim was to evaluate whether the infrastructure of existing sentinel surveillance networks of general practitioners (GPs) or paediatricians are appropriate for patient recruitment. The standardized disease burden protocol was evaluated in the Netherlands and Italy during the 2019/2020 winter. The results of the RSV ComNet I study are summarized in the infographic Measuring the burden of RSV among young children in primary care. Results of the RSV ComNet pilot in Italy and the Netherlands.
- RSV ComNet II: Measuring the clinical and socio-economic disease burden of RSV infections in young children in primary care – winter 2020/2021
The standardized disease burden protocol, developed in and updated after the evaluation in RSV ComNet I is shown below. The burden of RSV in young children will be measured in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the winter of 2020-2021. Both countries have chosen to use the infrastructure of the sentinel routine influenza surveillance network to recruit children for the RSV ComNet study.
Flowchart: Disease Burden Protocol used in RSV ComNet II. Children can be selected via a network of pediatricians or GPs involved in the study or via a routine influenza surveillance network in primary care.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
The collection of data in RSV ComNet II might be influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the number of RSV infections in primary care. Countries in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Australia and South Africa, have experienced a delayed epidemic of RSV due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. It is possible that countries in the Northern Hemisphere will experience similar developments in RSV circulation. More information is described in the keynote Impact of COVID-19 on RSV seasonality and non-pharmaceutical interventions by senior researcher at Nivel John Paget.
Sharing our research and results
We share our research and its results in providing access to the posters, oral presentations and scientific papers on the subject.
- We are currently working on a scientific paper describing the evaluation of the standardized RSV ComNet protocol to measure the disease burden of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections in young children in primary care.
- In addition, we are working on a scientific paper describing the disease burden of young children in primary care in Italy.
- Poster presentations
- 2020 | Poster: Measuring the burden of RSV among young children in primary care: Results of the RSV ComNet pilot in Italy and the Netherlands. Summeren JJGT van, Rizzo C, Hooiveld M, Korevaar J, Dückers M, Hendriksen J, Caini S, Bangert M, Demont C, Meijer A, Pandolfi E, Paget J. European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) virtual meeting, 26-29 October 2020
- Oral presentations
- 2020 | Presentation: Disease burden of RSV in young children in primary care: RSV ComNet pilot study in Italy & the Netherlands. Summeren JJGT van, Rizzo C, Kwakkelstein S, Hooiveld M, Korevaar J, Dückers M, Hendriksen J, Caini S, Bangert M, Demont C, Meijer A, Pandolfi E, Paget J. European Scientific Working group on Influenza (ESWI) virtual meeting, 6-9 December 2020
There research is done in a collaboration between several partners:
- Overall coordination of the RSV ComNet project: Nivel, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- Coordination and data collection in the Netherlands: Nivel, Utrecht, the Netherlands; RIVM, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
- Coordination and data collection in Italy: Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital (OPBG), Rome, Italy
- Coordination and data collection in the United Kingdom: University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, United Kingdom; Royal College of General Practitioners RCGP, United Kingdom
The RSV ComNet study was funded by Sanofi Pasteur and AstraZeneca.
- Project activities were organized and planned in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, but all implementation work was done by Nivel and Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù (OPBG).
- Datasets are held by Nivel and OPBG and not shared with Sanofi Pasteur.
- Epidemiological analyses are completed in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, but all public health implications and conclusions are determined by Nivel and OPBG.
Nivel project team
The Nivel project team consists of:
- John Paget PhD, senior researcher Nivel, project leader RSV ComNet
- Jojanneke van Summeren MSc, researcher RSV ComNet Nivel
- Mariëtte Hooiveld PhD, coordinator Dutch RSV ComNet study and project leader Peilstations Nivel
- Janneke Hendriksen PhD, GP and project leader Peilstations Nivel
- Joke Korevaar PhD, coordinator research program General Practice Care Nivel
- Prof. Michel Dückers PhD, coordinator research program Disasters and Environmental Hazards Nivel
- Saverio Caini, MD, PhD, EPIET, guest researcher Nivel; medical doctor specialized in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine and a medical epidemiologist
What can we do for you?
For more information on this project, please feel free to get in touch with one of the Nivel contacts on the right. On the right you also will find with the (future) Nivel deliverables (publications) and other relevant content.
For more information about Nivel as a partner in healthcare services research, please feel free to contact our manager International Projects Inge van Houdt PhD.
We are looking forward to getting in touch with you.