Viral respiratory infection among children treated in hemato-oncology department – Clinical and epidemiological characteristics

Gal Timianker Meron, Ronit Almog, Imad Kassis, Ayelet Ben Barak, Yael Shachor-Meyouhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Respiratory viral infections may be associated with high morbidity and mortality among immunosuppressed children. Our aim was to characterize clinical course and epidemiology of respiratory infections suspected as viral among children treated in a single hematology-oncology department in a tertiary hospital. Methods: Prospective, observational study during 1.10.2014–1.10.2015. All children with respiratory infection event in the Pediatric Hematology-oncology department at the Ruth Rappaport Children Hospital, Haifa, who were tested for respiratory viruses, were included. Collected data included signs and symptoms, pathogens, background disease, epidemiological characteristics, complications and duration of illness. Viruses were detected by molecular methods. Results: 159 events were observed among 102 children (55 males). Age range: 3 months-19 years. Single event was observed in 62%. In 79 events (50%) a respiratory virus was detected. Children who underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation had more events compared with those with other diseases (58% vs. 32%, p = 0.018). Viral detection was positively associated with symptoms of cough and rhinitis (p < 0.001) and with treatment with biological agents, methotrexate, cyclosporine and tacrolimus (p = 0.006), and negatively associated with hospitalization due to the acute infection illness compared to outpatient and infections during hospitalization related to the basic hemato-oncology disease (p = 0.007). There was no prolonged hospitalization, secondary infections or significant delay in chemotherapy. No patient was admitted to the intensive care unit and there was no mortality. Conclusions: The probability for viral etiology in immunosuppressed children with respiratory infection was associated with degree of immunosuppression. Otherwise, there was no difference in the course of the disease between those with or without viral detection. No severe course of illness was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Hematology Oncology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Pediatric Hematology Oncology Chapter of Indian Academy of Pediatrics


  • Immunocompromised
  • Respiratory
  • Viral infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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