Vigilancia sistemática de virus influenza, respiratorio sincicial, parainfluenza y adenovirus, en niños ambulatorios con infecciones respiratorias agudas
Avendaño C,Luis F
Background: The efficacy of influenza vaccination programs depends on the antigenic similitude between vaccine and the influenza virus circulating in the community. Therefore the surveillance of clinical activity and antigenic features of influenza virus is of utmost importance. Aim: To perform a systematic surveillance of clinical activity and antigenic characteristics of influenza virus. Material and methods: Since 1996 and during the cold months (May to September), 20 samples of upper respiratory secretions per week, were obtained from children with acute respiratory infections consulting to the emergency room of a public hospital. Using indirect immunofluorescence and cellular cultures, the presence of influenza, syncytial respiratory, parainfluenza and adenovirus was assessed. The weekly number of consultations in the emergency room and the number of hospital discharges due to acute respiratory infections, were registered. Results: Influenza and syncytial respiratory were the predominant virus detected since 1996. In 1996 and 1998, the weekly detection of influenza virus followed a single seasonal curve. The maximal weekly positively results reached 85 and 80% of the obtained samples, respectively. During 1997, two curves of influenza virus activity were observed, but none reached more than 50% of weekly positive samples. The demand for outpatient care evolved in parallel to the weekly detection of influenza virus. The hospital discharges due to acute respiratory infections paralleled the syncytial respiratory virus detection rates. Conclusions: This surveillance model is effective for the detection of influenza and other virus responsible for acute respiratory infections and their relationship with the demand for health care during the cold months.