Deviations in RSV epidemiological patterns and population structures in the United States following the COVID-19 pandemic

Estefany Rios-Guzman, Lacy M. Simons, Taylor J. Dean, Francesca Agnes, Anna Pawlowski, Arghavan Alisoltanidehkordi, Hannah H. Nam, Michael G. Ison, Egon A. Ozer, Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, Judd F. Hultquist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a leading cause of acute respiratory tract infection, with the greatest impact on infants, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults. RSV prevalence decreased substantially in the United States (US) following the implementation of COVID-19-related non-pharmaceutical interventions but later rebounded with abnormal seasonality. The biological and epidemiological factors underlying this altered behavior remain poorly defined. In this retrospective cohort study from 2009 to 2023 in Chicago, Illinois, US, we examined RSV epidemiology, clinical severity, and genetic diversity. We found that changes in RSV diagnostic platforms drove increased detections in outpatient settings post-2020 and that hospitalized adults infected with RSV-A were at higher risk of intensive care admission than those with RSV-B. While population structures of RSV-A remained unchanged, RSV-B exhibited a genetic shift into geographically distinct clusters. Mutations in the antigenic regions of the fusion protein suggest convergent evolution with potential implications for vaccine and therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3374
JournalNature communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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