Date: 17 May 2013

Respiratory syncytial virus infection in children with severe motor and intellectual disabilities

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Children with severe motor intellectual disabilities (SMID) are at high risk of death from acute viral lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). Although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of viral LRTI in children, there have been a few reports on the relationship between SMID and the severity of RSV-LRTI. The aim of the present study is to assess the influence of RSV-LRTI in children with SMID. A case–control study composed of children with SMID (n = 18) and previously healthy children (n = 43) less than 16 years old hospitalized for RSV-LRTI was performed during five consecutive RSV seasons. The clinical presentation and the laboratory data in the SMID group were compared with those in the non-SMID group. In the bivariate analysis, the median age of the SMID group was higher than that of the non-SMID group (p = 0.002). Children with SMID had an increased risk for ventilation support (p = 0.057). The count of neutrophils in the SMID group was significantly increased (p = 0.012), whereas the proportion of bacterial co-infection was lower than that in the non-SMID group (p = 0.005). Multivariate logistic analysis showed that SMID was associated with longer oxygen usage [>7 days: odds ratio (OR) 5.309, p = 0.033]. The present study revealed that children with SMID were prone to developing hypoxia by RSV-LRTI. The strategies for the treatment and prevention of RSV infection need to be improved in SMID children.