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Respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants and correlation with meteorological factors and air pollutants

Silvia Vandini*, Luigi Corvaglia, Rosina Alessandroni, Giulia Aquilano, Concetta Marsico, Marica Spinelli, Marcello Lanari and Giacomo Faldella

Author Affiliations

Neonatology -S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital-University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 11, Bologna, 40138, Italy

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Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2013, 39:1  doi:10.1186/1824-7288-39-1

Published: 11 January 2013



Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the most important cause of severe respiratory infections in infants with seasonal epidemics. Environmental factors (temperature, humidity, air pollution) could influence RSV epidemics through their effects on virus activity and diffusion.


We conducted a retrospective study on a paediatric population who referred to our Paediatric Emergency Unit in order to analyze the correlation between weekly incidence of RSV positive cases during winter season in Bologna and meteorological factors and air pollutants concentration.


We observed a significant correlation between the incidence of RSV infections and the mean minimum temperature registered during the same week and the previous weeks.

The weekly number of RSV positive cases was also correlated to the mean PM10 concentration of the week before.


RSV epidemic trend in Bologna (Italy) is related to the mean minimum temperature, and the mean PM10 concentration.

Respitatory syncytial virus; Bronchiolitis; Temperature; Humidity; Air pollution