New Tool Shows Promise in Identifying Newborns at Highest Risk for RSV Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

May 23, 2024
The tool could aid in allocating limited immunoprophylaxis and improving RSV prevention among high-risk infants.

A new tool may be able to help identify newborns who are at highest risk for developing serious RSV lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), according to a study reported on by EurekAlert.

Lead author Brittney M. Snyder, PhD, assistant director, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said that the tool “may have applications in allocating expensive and/or limited immunoprophylaxis (immunization with nirsevimab or palivizumab) to achieve the greatest benefit and in promoting RSV prevention among families with high-risk infants.”

Over half of RSV LRTIs “are among healthy, term infants who are generally considered low risk.” Immunization with nirsevimab is recommended for all infants, but recent shortages have CDC recommending that only high-risk infants ineligible for immunization with palivizumab receive it.

The study assessed “infants who did not receive RSV immunoprophylaxis in the first year of life.” Researchers developed a model to predict whether those infants developed severe RSV LRTI. The tool was found to have “good predictive accuracy and internal validation that indicated a good fit,” and it showed promise in being “particularly helpful in prioritizing which infants should be immunized during times of limited availability of RSV prevention medicines.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.