Understanding RSV: Severe disease and the long term consequences

Understanding RSV: Severe disease and the long term consequences

Oxford Vaccine Group are inviting volunteers to take part in a study to help us learn more about the virus that most commonly causes coughs, colds and chest infections in young children, and sometimes causes children to be so unwell they have to be admitted to hospital.

Some facts about RSV disease (respiratory syncytial virus):

RSV is the most common viral cause of the ‘common cold’ and chest infections in infants. Most babies who get RSV recover fully to normal health after 1-2 weeks, but RSV infection can sometimes worsen and lead to severe chest infections in children. There are no vaccines approved for the prevention of RSV infection in healthy children and there are no routinely used medications available for the treatment of RSV.

  • RSV is responsible for around 1 in 6 hospital admissions for children in the UK
  • RSV  is the second largest worldwide cause of deaths in children between one month and 1 year of age, most are in Asia and Africa
  • RSV infection in childhood can cause wheezing and asthma

What is the purpose of the study?

We want to understand why some children are more likely to suffer from severe RSV disease, to work out how to identify children who will suffer from long term problems and to identify ways of predicting who will be protected from having severe disease.

What is involved?

Your child can participate in this study if he or she is aged less than 12 months. We are looking for healthy children as well as children seeing a GP, A&E or being admitted to hospital with a respiratory infection which is confirmed as caused by RSV.  If you are unsure if your child has RSV, with your consent we can perform a quick test by taking a sample of some nasal mucous. 

If you decide you would like to take part in this study, a member of the research team from the Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG) would talk you through the study and answer any questions you may have before asking you to sign a consent form.  Visits will happen at your home.

Medical history

We would ask you some questions about your child’s health and may take some information from their medical records. If your child does not have RSV and is in the healthy group, we will call you to confirm any further medical history after you have joined the study to see whether they have developed any signs of a chest infection.

Collection of samples

We would collect 2 - 3 samples of nasal mucous, blood, urine and stool samples. 

Diary completion

If your child has RSV, we would ask you to complete a diary for 2 weeks after enrolment. The diary will record questions about your child’s health and your health.

Yearly Questionnaires

We would follow up your child every year for up to three years by asking you to complete questionnaires about your child and your family’s health. 

If you are interested in finding out more read the Study Information Booklet for healthy controls complete the registration form or contact the study team;

Oxford Vaccine Group

Tel: 01865 611400 or email resceu@ovg.ox.ac.uk