Background. In Chile respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and adenovirus (AD) are the principal viruses detected in acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in infants. An overview of AD pneumonia in Chile to detect annual trends and to compare the severity of single AD or mixed RSV-AD infections is presented.
Methods. Surveillance in 4927 infants hospitalized for ALRI has been performed from 1989 to 2001 using immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and viral isolation. Clinical features in 117 infants with single genotyped AD and 81 infants with mixed RSV-AD infections were analyzed.
Results. Adenovirus cases declined from 20% annually in the early 1990s to ~5% in the 2000 decade. Genotype 7h showed increasing prevalence in hospitalized cases. The mean annual burden of hospitalizations caused by AD in Santiago was estimated to be 0.6%. No difference was observed in duration of fever, oxygen requirement and hospital stay between groups. Lung consolidation was more frequent in AD cases than mixed cases (P < 0.01); interstitial pattern and hyperinflation prevailed in the mixed cases (P < 0.01). No child died. AD diagnosis was confirmed on admission by IFA in 17% of cases of RSV-AD and in 43% of cases of single AD ALRI. AD cases diagnosed early by IFA had worse clinical outcome than those diagnosed later by virus isolation (P < 0.05).
Conclusions. AD cases declined since 1989. Mixed RSV-AD infections were not more severe than single AD etiology. AD cases admitted with positive IFA had worse prognoses than AD infections diagnosed later by virus isolation.