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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 801581, 6 pages
Research Article

Increased Risk of RSV Infection in Children with Down's Syndrome: Clinical Implementation of Prophylaxis in the European Union

1Department of Immunology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Department of Pediatrics (Neonatal Division), McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8
3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 26 March 2013; Accepted 13 June 2013

Academic Editor: Roberto Burioni

Copyright © 2013 Dianne van Beek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prospective cohort studies show that Down’s syndrome (DS) is an independent risk factor for hospitalization for RSV bronchiolitis. It is unknown whether this observation has been translated into specific management for DS children. The primary goal was to assess the knowledge of healthcare providers in the European Union about RSV infection in DS children and to determine whether it influenced the implementation of prophylaxis. DS caregivers were surveyed using a standardized questionnaire, and country-specific guidelines were obtained. Fifty-three caregivers participated. Thirty-nine (86.7%) had knowledge of the increased risk of severe RSV infection in DS children, and 30 (71.4%) graded that it was important to have a statement on the use of RSV prophylaxis in existing guidelines. Twenty-eight participants had a local DS guideline; hard copies of twelve unique guidelines were obtained. Only one (8.3%) contained a statement on RSV prophylaxis for DS, and five considered such a statement for the next version. Conclusion. Most pediatricians had knowledge that DS children have an increased risk of severe RSV infection. Despite the lack of a specific RSV prophylaxis trial in DS, they felt that a statement on RSV prophylaxis in DS guidelines was important, but this was rarely present in current guidelines.