Association between HIV and proven viral lower respiratory tract infection in paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), Durban, South Africa

Nonthuthuko Majozi, Ntombifikile Nkwanyana, Stanley Thula, Anna Coutsoudis



Acute viral respiratory infections are common within the paediatric population.

Nucleic Acid amplification tests can identify a wide range of respiratory viruses. Virally infected patients can now be diagnosed early and more accurately in the acute phase of illness.


The objective was to examine the association between HIV status and mortality in children with viral lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and to delineate the profile of viruses identified.


A retrospective review of charts of children aged from birth to 10yrs of age admitted to PICU at IALCH with a viral lower respiratory tract infection from December 2010 to May 2015 was conducted. Only patients who had a positive respiratory viral multiplex test were eligible for entry into the study. Patients were divided into HIV positive; and negative; patients and mortality in the two groups was assessed.


Three hundred and thirty eight records were entered into the study. Sixty five patients tested HIV positive (19.23%) and 273 tested HIV negative (80.77%).

There was a total of 55 deaths among the charts that were reviewed. Of these 55 deaths, 12 were amongst the 65 HIV positive patients (18.46%), and 43 amongst the 273 HIV negative patients (15.75%). The difference in mortality according to HIV status was not statistically different (p = 0.595).

RSV was the most prevalent virus identified overall, with adenovirus being most prevalent in the HIV positive group.


The results showed that patients with viral LRTI requiring respiratory support have a similar mortality regardless of HIV status.

Authors' affiliations

Nonthuthuko Majozi, University of Kwazulu-Natal

Ntombifikile Nkwanyana, University of Kwazulu-Natal

Stanley Thula, University of Kwazulu-Natal

Anna Coutsoudis, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2017;11(4):154-158.

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-12-22
Date published: 2017-12-22

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