The Global Epidemiology of RSV in Primary and Secondary Care (GERi) study
Rationale, study aims and research questions
To support optimal immunization strategies to prevent and control RSV in the future, it is critically important to understand who develops symptoms leading to healthcare usage and to identify which groups are at risk of more severe RSV infection requiring hospitalization or intensive care, and what is the impact on primary care. There are currently approximately 60 RSV vaccine candidates and monoclonal antibodies that are in pre-clinical development up to phase III clinical trials, with potential target groups including the elderly, pregnant women and infants. An RSV vaccine is expected to enter the market in the coming years.
Knowledge about the spatio-temporal timing of RSV epidemics will be very important as this information will allow for the optimization of the delivery of vaccines (or monoclonal antibodies) in primary and secondary care. RSV infection is not notifiable in all countries, but many countries have a long tradition of reporting laboratory-confirmed RSV infections through surveillance networks (often linked to influenza) that are already in place.
While a fair amount is known about the epidemiology of RSV at a country level, especially in industrialized Northern Hemisphere countries, there is limited data at a global level and in certain regions of the world. In addition, few studies have looked at the RSV burden (and spatio-temporal patterns) in the community (the primary care setting) versus in hospitalized patients.
Updated: 28 January 2019