Nevin Manimala Statistics

Molecular epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus in children with acute respiratory illnesses in Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Glob Health. 2023 Jan 14;13:04001. doi: 10.7189/jogh.13.04001.


BACKGROUND: Globally, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common etiologic agent of acute respiratory illnesses in children. However, its burden has not been well addressed in developing countries. We aimed to estimate the molecular epidemiology of RSV in children less than 18 years of age with acute respiratory infections in Africa by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: We systematically searched PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Global Index Medicus databases to identify studies published from January 1, 2002, to April 27, 2022, following the PRISMA 2020 guideline. We assessed the study quality using the Joanna Brigg’s Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklists. We conducted a qualitative synthesis by describing the characteristics of included studies and performed the quantitative synthesis with random effects model using STATA-14. We checked for heterogeneity with Q statistics, quantified by I2, and determined the prediction interval. We performed subgroup analyses to explain the sources of heterogeneity and assessed publication biases by funnel plots augmented with Egger’s test.

RESULTS: Eighty-eight studies with 105 139 participants were included in the review. The overall pooled prevalence of RSV in children <18 years of age was 23% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 20, 25%). Considerable heterogeneity was present across the included studies. The adjusted prediction interval was found to be 19%-27%. Heterogeneities were explained by subgroups analyses. The highest prevalence of RSV was found among inpatients, 28% (95% CI = 25, 31%) compared with inpatients/outpatients and outpatients, with statistically significant differences (P < 0.01). The RSV estimate was also highest among those with acute lower respiratory tract illnesses (ALRTIs), 28% (95% CI = 25, 31%) compared with acute upper respiratory tract illnesses (AURTIs) and both acute upper/lower respiratory manifestations, with statistically different prevalence (P < 0.01). RSV infection estimates in each sub-region of Africa were statistically different (P < 0.01). There were no statistically significant differences in RSV infections by designs, specimen types, and specimen conditions, despite them contributing to heterogeneity.

CONCLUSIONS: We found a high prevalence of RSV in pediatric populations with acute respiratory tract illnesses in Africa, highlighting that the prevention and control of RSV infections in children deserve more attention.


PMID:36637855 | DOI:10.7189/jogh.13.04001

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala