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INTRODUCTION: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus, particularly affecting children, and can cause respiratory infections such as croup and bronchiolitis. The latter is a leading cause of paediatric hospitalisation within the UK. Children <3 years of age and/or with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to severe RSV infection.There are currently limited data on the incidence of laboratory-confirmed RSV, particularly within primary care settings and outside the typical 'RSV season', which in the Northern hemisphere tends to coincide with winter months. There is also a lack of data on the health economic impact of RSV infection on families and healthcare systems.This observational surveillance study aims to collect data on the incidence of laboratory-confirmed RSV-attributable respiratory tract infection (RTI) in children aged <3 years presenting to primary, secondary or tertiary care; it also aims to estimate the health economic and quality of life impact of RSV-attributable infection in this cohort. Such data will contribute to informing public health strategies to prevent RSV-associated infection, including use of preventative medications. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Parents/carers of children <3 years of age with RTI symptoms will consent for a respiratory sample (nasal swab) to be taken. Laboratory PCR testing will assess for the presence of RSV and/or other pathogens. Data will be obtained from medical records on demographics, comorbidities, severity of infection and hospitalisation outcomes. Parents will complete questionnaires on the impact of ongoing infection symptoms at day 14 and 28 following enrolment. The primary outcome is incidence of laboratory-confirmed RSV in children <3 years presenting to primary, secondary or tertiary care with RTI symptoms leading to health-seeking behaviours. Recruitment will be carried out from December 2021 to March 2023, encompassing two UK winter seasons and intervening months. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been granted (21/WS/0142), and study findings will be published as per International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open Respir Res

Publication Date





Clinical Epidemiology, Health Economist, Paediatric Lung Disaese, Respiratory Infection, Child, Humans, Child, Preschool, Tertiary Healthcare, Incidence, Quality of Life, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human, Respiratory Tract Infections, United Kingdom