Volume 51, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Nasopharyngeal specimens from 42 children less than one-year old hospitalized with bronchiolitis or pneumonia in El Salvador were analyzed for the presence of subgroup-specific respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antigens by the indirect immunofluorescence technique. The antigen RSV-A was demonstrated in 28 children, RSV-B in three, and in one child subgroup, specificity could not be determined. The male:female ratio in the RSV-infected children was 1.9:1. The most severe disease, requiring intensive care, was observed in two infants with RSV-B infection. Determination of serum IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies in acute and convalescent sera showed that none of the tests alone had sufficient sensitivity for routine diagnostic purposes, although, in combination, they provided a correct diagnosis in 86% of the RSV-infected children. A seroprevalence study of IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies in 206 healthy children showed that a primary RSV infection is usually acquired during the first year of life in El Salvador. These results also indicated that reinfections with RSV frequently occur during the first 3–4 years of life and suggest that the occurrence of serum RSV IgA antibodies may be a marker of reinfection.


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