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Pathology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

Dr Sampurna Roy MD

 

                                                                                                                      

 

Respiratory syncytial virus was first isolated in 1956 by Morris and co-workers who named it "chimpanzee coryza agent".

Shortly thereafter, Chanock and co-workers confirmed that the agent was able to cause respiratory illness in humans.

Respiratory syncytial virus measures from 121 to 300 nm.

It has an RNA genome, and like all members of the paramyxovirus family, the envelop exhibits spokes of glycoprotein.

Respiratory syncytial virus is of worldwide distribution, and primary infection occurs in the very young. 

Microscopic features:

Diagram showing lymphocytic peribronchiolar infiltrate with some edema of the bronchial walls. There is a prominent interstitial alveolar infiltrate accompanied by edema.

In the initial pulmonary infection there is a lymphocytic peribronchiolar infiltrate with some edema of the bronchial walls.  

Necrosis of the cells lining the bronchioles can be seen.

Subsequently there is a proliferative response of the bronchial epithelium.    

The lumen of the small airways becomes narrowed because  of sloughing of necrotic epithelium and an increase in mucin secretion.

Obstruction of airflow occurs, resulting in hyperinflation and trapping of air.

Complete bronchiolar obstruction may lead to atelectasis.

In severe cases there is a prominent interstitial alveolar infiltrate accompanied by edema.

Other manifestations of Respiratory syncytial virus infection include otitis media, meningitis, myelitis, and myocarditis.

Related post: Measles

Further reading:

Photographs related to pathology of Respiratory syncytial virus

Respiratory syncytial virus--a comprehensive review

Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in the elderly

Respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia among the elderly

Respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis.

Respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Diagnostic assays for respiratory syncytial virus disease.

The burden of respiratory syncytial virus infection

Viral and Host Factors in Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Human metapneumovirus and respiratory syncytial virus infections in older children with cystic fibrosis.

Respiratory syncytial virus(RSV)-induced allergy may be controlled by IL-4 and CX3C fractalkine antagonists and CpG ODN as adjuvant: hypothesis and implications for treatment.

Decline in respiratory syncytial virus hospitalizations in a region with high hospitalization rates and prolonged season.

 

 

Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)


 

 

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