Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) in children in countries throughout the world. The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) emergency department, wards and intensive care unit are full of patients with RSV infections (including bronchiolitis) from April to September, with a peak in June-July. The Melbourne Children’s campus has a long history of RSV associated research, including clinical trials encompassing preventative, supportive and therapeutic strategies. It is a topic of interest for the Melbourne Children’s Global Health initiative (https://www.melbournechildrens.com/global-health/) as deaths and severe outcomes from RSV infections are significantly higher in low and middle income countries. The aim of this Grand Round is to provide a 2019 update regrading RSV research activities on campus and place them in context with international efforts, including progress on RSV vaccine development and other preventative therapies such as long-acting monoclonal antibodies.
Associate Professor Nigel Crawford, is a general paediatrician at RCH and has looked after lots of infant and children with bronchiolitis and other infections caused by RSV. He is a lead investigator on “RSV @ RCH”, undertaking SARI surveillance since 2017 as part of a WHO study, aiming to better understand the disease burden and seasonality internationally. This is in collaboration with the WHO Influenza Collaborating Centre, based at the Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne.
Dr Danielle Wurzel, is a respiratory physician at RCH, who has a keen interest in the clinical care and outcomes in infants and children with RSV infections. She co-leads an observational study evaluating risk factors for severe RSV infection and will present findings from the last 2 RSV seasons at RCH.
Professor Kim Mulholland is a leading global health researcher based at MCRI and the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He has treated and researched RSV associated infections around the world and will provide an historical and current perspective on global RSV preventative strategies.