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National burden estimates of hospitalisations for acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in young children in 2019 among 58 countries: a modelling study.

Li, Y., Johnson, E.K., Shi, T., Campbell, H., Chaves, S.S., Commaille-Chapus, C., Dighero, I., James, S.L., Mahé, C., Ooi, Y., Paget, J., Pomeren, T. van, Viboud, C., Nair, H. National burden estimates of hospitalisations for acute lower respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus in young children in 2019 among 58 countries: a modelling study. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: 2020
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Background:
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the predominant viral pathogen associated with acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in children who are younger than 5 years. Little is reported on the national estimates of RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations in these children on the basis of robust epidemiological data. We aimed to generate national level estimates for RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations in children aged younger than 5 years.

Methods:
We included data for RSV and ALRI hospitalisation in children who were younger than 5 years from systematic literature reviews (including unpublished data) and from inpatient databases, representing 58 countries. We used two different methods, the rate-based method and the proportion-based method, to estimate national RSVassociated ALRI hospitalisations in children younger than 5 years in 2019. The rate-based method synthesised data for laboratory-confirmed RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisation rates using a spatiotemporal Gaussian process metaregression (ST-GPR). The proportion-based method applied data for RSV positive proportions among ALRI to allcause ALRI hospitalisation envelopes (ie, total disease burden of ALRI hospitalisations of any cause) using a Bayesian regularised trimmed meta-regression (MR-BRT). Where applicable, we reported estimates by both methods to provide a plausible range for each country.

Findings:
A total of 334 studies and 1985 data points (defined as an individual estimate for one age group and 1 year for each study) were included in our analysis, accounting for 398 million (59%) of the 677 million children aged younger than 5 years worldwide representing 58 countries. We reported the number of annual national RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations for 29 countries using the rate-based method, and for 42 countries using the proportion-based method. The median number of RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations in children younger than 5 years was 8·25 thousand (IQR 1·97–48·01), and the median rate of RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations was 514 (339–866) hospitalisations per thousand children younger than 5 years. Despite large variation among countries, a high proportion of the RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisations were in infants aged younger than 1 year in all countries (median proportion 45%, IQR 32–56). In 272 (76%) of the 358 years included in the analysis, the RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisation rate fluctuated between 0·8 and 1·2 times the country’s median yearly rate. General agreement was observed between estimates by the rate-based method and proportion-based method, with the exceptions of India, Kenya, Norway, and Philippines.

Interpretation:
By incorporating data from various sources, our study provides robust estimates on national level burden of RSV-associated ALRI hospitalisation in children aged younger than 5 years. These estimates are important for informing policy for the introduction of RSV immunisations and also serve as baseline data for the RSV disease burden in young children.