Palivizumab prophylaxis of RSV infections in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Suada Heljic, Hajrija Maksic, Hidajeta Begic, Fahrija Skokic, Darinka Glamuzina, Tomica Bozic, Stojislav Konjevic, Veroslava Milosevic, Sabina Terzic


Background: Palivizumab is indicated for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis in high-risk children.

Methods: Observational study, based on 4 sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), with institutional reports of infants at high risk for RSV who received at least 1 dose of palivizumab during the 2008-2013 RSV seasons.

Results: Across 6 RSV seasons, from 2008/9 to 2013/14, 589 infants were enrolled (0.29% of livebirths population). Of all infants, 290 (49.2%) were enrolled for prematurity only, 82 (13.9%) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia/chronic lung disease (BPD/CLD), 201 (34.1%) for congenital heart disease (CHD), and 13 (2.2%) for other reasons; 365 (61.9%) infants in total were born before 33 weeks. Average gestational age of preterm infants enrolled for prematurity only was 30.2 ± 3.2 weeks; for preterm infants with BPD/CLD it was 28.3 ± 3.7 weeks. Overall average of palivizumab injections was 4.1 ± 1.0. Hospitalization rate related to severe lower respiratory infections (LRI) during the period of protection by palivizumab was 1.2%. Respiratory infections which deserved medical attention were observed in 3.7% infants included in palivizumab prophylaxis.

Conclusion: RSV prophylaxis in B&H is provided systematically and successfully, following the national guidance established in 2009, with the aim of achieving a good cost-benefit ratio, with very low hospitalization rate for severe LRI in prophylaxed infants. New randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance revised in 2014 will be taken into account in establishing a new national recommendation.


palivizumab; RSV prophylaxis; preterm infants; BPD/CLD; CHD

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