Seroepidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus infection in rural and semi-rural areas of the Littoral region of Cameroon.
Mandi H., Epie BC., Eyoh A., Jan S., Clemens SAC., Clemens R., Yimer S.
BACKGROUND: The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been established as a leading cause of acute lower respiratory illness (ALRI) in infants and children. In 2015, the global disease burden (GBD) study estimated that the overall RSV-ALRI mortality could be as high as 118,200, with most death occurring in low- and middle-incomes countries (LMIC). This study aimed to assess the burden of RSV infection among children less than 2 years with acute respiratory infections (ARI) in the Littoral region of Cameroon. METHODS: We carried out a cross-sectional study in seven health centres in the Littoral region of Cameroon. Venous blood was collected using serum separation tubes from eligible children who visited these health centres with acute respiratory infections. ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) testing was used to assess the seroprevalence of anti-IgM RSV for the total population and by selected demographic and health parameters and potential risk factors. RESULTS: The overall RSV-associated ARI seroprevalence was 33% (95%CI:23.6-42.3; 33/100 children). The only demographic factor significantly associated with RSV acquisition was age of 6 months and below (odds ratio: 7.54 (2.62, 23.36); p = 0.000). Children who were clinically diagnosed to be concomitantly infected with malaria had a lower risk of RSV infection (odds ratio: 0.38 (0.14, 0.95; P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The RSV burden is high among children less than 2 years with ARI in the Littoral region of Cameroon. There is a need for an effective public health RSV surveillance system with standard laboratory techniques and equipment to better understand the RSV disease age-specific incidence, seasonality, risk factors and RSV burden among patients in communities in Cameroon.