Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) type A and B, influenza A and B cause about 80% of viral lower respiratory tract infections. Multiplex RT-PCR has a significant advantage in that it permits simultaneous amplification of several viruses in a single reaction facilitating cost-effective diagnosis and perhaps improved clinical management. In this study, our aim was to determine the frequency of Influenza A and B, and RSV types A and B among children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), by the use of the newly developed rapid, accurate, and pathogen-specific technique of multiplex RT-PCR. This study is a cross-sectional study involving 24 children admitted to Children’s Hospital of Ain Shams University due to severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). Clinical and radiological assessment of all patients were performed followed by molecular analysis of both respiratory and blood samples of all enrolled patients simultaneously by the use of Reverse Transcription-Multiplex PCR technique (RT-m PCR). Viral pneumonia was detected in one third of enrolled patients (8/24), with predominance of respiratory syncytial virus A (4/8), followed by Influenza A virus (3/8) and Influenza B virus (1/8) while no cases of respiratory syncytial virus B were detected. The same results were identified in both blood and respiratory specimens.
Conclusion Reverse Transcription-Multiplex PCR technique Multiplex has a significant advantage in that it permits simultaneous amplification of several viruses in a single reaction making this well suited for use in epidemiological studies and to improve etiology-directed clinical management of viral pneumonia.