Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are major causes of morbidity in early childhood. They are mainly caused by viruses, including influenza (INF) and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV). We aimed to investigate the role of RSV and INF in children hospitalized for ARIs and to show the impact of RSV/INF rapid testing on management of patients.
Cross-sectional study using data of inpatient care of children younger than five years hospitalized in Arabkir Medical Center due to ARI from November 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for RSV and INF types A and B by direct antigen detection tests.
A total of 915 patients, 583 (63.7%) boys and 332 (36.3%) girls were included in the study with the mean age of 18.8 ± 16.3 months. Among them, 390 (42.6%) were tested positive, 3 (0.3%) subjects tested positive both for RSV and INF: 269 (29.4%) for RSV and 124 (13.6%) for INF (A – 121, B – 3). Out of 915 children, 209 (23%) were pretreated with antibiotics, most often with oral amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (n = 54, 25.8%), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (n = 46, 22%), and amoxicillin (n = 38, 18.2%), followed by intramuscular ceftriaxone (n = 37, 17.7%).
The usage of antigen tests for detection of respiratory viruses allowed to document high rates of RSV and INF in children admitted to the hospital. In settings where polymerase chain reaction method is not readily available, implementation of rapid tests for detection of respiratory viruses is important in the management of pediatric patients including cohorting and more targeted use of antibiotics.

Copyright (c) 2019 Hrachuhi Ghazaryan, Ara Babloyan, Ashot Sarkissian, Christoph Berger, Karapet Davtyan.