A ground-breaking study looking into preventing the UK’s leading cause of infant hospitalisation, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), has found a new preventative treatment reduces the requirement for hospital admissions by more than 80%.
The study, taking place at Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s (HHFT) Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals alongside other health care providers in Hampshire and across the UK, looks at how strongly babies can be protected from serious illness due to RSV infection by giving them a single dose of Nirsevimab, a monoclonal antibody immunisation.
Following its initial successes, in which Hampshire Hospitals feature as one of the highest recruiters to the trial in Wessex, the study has been extended for a further year to help determine the period of protection by the one-off antibody injection.
RSV affects 90% of children before the age of two, and whilst it often causes only mild illnesses, for some babies it leads to more severe lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
Adejumoke Awoseyila and Lucinda Winckworth, principal investigators for the HARMONIE study at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Each year we treat more than 400 babies across our hospitals who are unwell because of RSV infections, with the virus a leading cause of hospital admissions amongst infants in the winter months.
“These results look very promising, with Nirsevimab reducing the chance of babies getting unwell with RSV infection or needing hospital treatment. We are very pleased to continue our involvement in this exciting and important study, looking towards the future of how we manage RSV infections and care for some of our smallest patients.”