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Hospital-acquired viral respiratory infections in neonates hospitalized since birth in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit



To determine frequency of hospital-acquired viral respiratory infections (HA-VRI) and associated outcomes in a NICU.

Study design

Prospective cohort study conducted from 4 October 2016 to 21 March 2017. Infants hospitalized from birth in the NICU had a weekly nasal swab collected for testing using a multiplex PCR assay capable of detecting 16 different respiratory viruses.


Seventy-four infants enrolled, with 5 (6.8%) testing positive for a virus (incidence rate of 1.3/1000 patient days). VRI positive infants had a younger gestational age (median 27 w vs. 32 w, p = 0.048); were hospitalized longer (97 d vs 43 d, p = 0.013); required more antibiotics (8 d vs. 4 d, p = 0.037) and were more likely to be diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (p = 0.008) compared to VRI negative infants.


Respiratory viruses are a frequent cause of HAI in the NICU and are associated with negative outcomes.

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Results of this study were presented in poster format at St Jude’s PIDS (Pediatric Infectious Disease Society) 2018 Research Symposium, SHEA (Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America) 2018 conference and PAS (Pediatric Academic Society) 2018 conference – Hospital acquired respiratory infections in a tertiary NICU


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This work was supported by the National Institute of Health Training Research Grant 5T32 AI052069-13 and the Dixon Foundation Fellowship Award.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Correspondence to Claudette L. Poole.

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