Determining the outcomes of interventions to prevent respiratory syncytial virus disease in children: what to measure?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of viral acute lower respiratory tract illness (LRTI) in young children, and a major cause of hospital admissions and health-care utilisation globally. Substantial efforts have been made to develop RSV vaccines and vaccine-like monoclonal antibodies to prevent acute RSV LRTI. Prevention of acute disease could improve long-term lung health, with potential effects on wheezing, asthma, and chronic lung disease. This Personal View describes assessments that should be initiated during clinical trials and continued after licensure to fully evaluate the effect of RSV preventive interventions. These assessments include recording the incidence of RSV-specific LRTI and all-cause LRTI through two RSV seasons, and assessment of the prevalence and severity of recurrent wheezing or asthma in children aged up to 6 years. Standardised assessments in diverse settings are needed to fully determine the effect of interventions for the prevention of RSV disease.