Bacteremia in Children Hospitalized Due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

  • August Wrotek
  • Małgorzata Czajkowska
  • Teresa JackowskaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1271)


The frequency of bacteremia in children hospitalized due to respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV) rarely exceeds 1%, but a recent study reported a 10% risk of bacteremia. In this study, we set out to verify the frequency, usefulness, and costs of blood cultures in RSV infections. We addressed the issue by reviewing medical files of 512 children, aged 8 days–121 months, who were hospitalized during January 2010 and June 2017. The RSV-related diagnoses included bronchiolitis (390 patients), RSV pneumonia (65 patients), and bronchitis (57 patients). There were 212 blood cultures performed in 185 patients (36%). In 10 cultures (5.4%), the following pathogens were identified: Staphylococcus haemolyticus, 4; Staphylococcus epidermidis, 1; Staphylococcus hominis, 1; Corynebacterium, 1 Streptococcus parasanguinis, 1; Rothia mucilaginosa, 1; Micrococcus luteus, 1; and Streptococcus hominis, 1 case. However, all of these pathogens were identified as a contamination of samples only. Therefore, both positive blood cultures turned out in fact negative, and the patients having either result of blood culturing showed no clinically relevant differences. The total cost of blood cultures in the pediatric ward amounted to €1980. If performed in each and every patient, the costs would have reached €5490. In conclusion, the frank frequency of bacteremia in children with RSV infection, with no sepsis, seems exceedingly low, which confirms the earlier findings. Thus, blood culturing, generating high costs, is of negligible clinical value. The study provides no evidence supporting a routine blood culture in case of children hospitalized due to RSV infection.


Bacteremia Bronchiolitis Children Procalcitonin Respiratory infection Respiratory syncytial virus Septicemia 



This study was supported by CMKP grant number 501-1-020-19-19.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in relation to this article.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Center of Postgraduate Medical Education in Warsaw, Poland.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • August Wrotek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Małgorzata Czajkowska
    • 1
    • 2
  • Teresa Jackowska
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsCenter of Postgraduate Medical EducationWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsBielanski HospitalWarsawPoland

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