Respiratory Syncytial Virus

AstraZeneca’s ambition to improve RSV care for infants worldwide

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Building on our longstanding heritage as a leader in respiratory diseases, we are committed to advancing the science of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to reduce the burden of this leading cause of childhood illness worldwide.

RSV is a very common, contagious seasonal virus that is easily transmissible from person to person through respiratory droplets, for example through coughing or sneezing.1,2 While most babies with RSV will only experience mild, cold-like symptoms, serious cases of RSV can have a significant impact and even be life-threatening.1

Nearly all babies (90%) will contract RSV before their second birthday, and because there is currently no specific treatment for RSV once contracted, prevention is a very important consideration.3,4

At AstraZeneca, we’re committed not only to ensuring that high-risk infants around the world have access to currently available management options, we’re also following the science and working tirelessly to explore potential new pathways to improve and expand RSV care and management.

Lung infections due to RSV is a leading cause of hospitalisation in the first year of life,5 and RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) globally among infants and young children.5

RSV is estimated to be responsible for 33 million acute respiratory infections each year.6

Despite its high prevalence and potential severity in high-risk infant populations around the world, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is still not well known by many parents and families.1,7 We have a responsibility to follow the science so we can help HCPs improve RSV care and management for infants and children across the globe.

Tonya Villafana Global Franchise Head, Infection


1. Piedimonte G, Perez MK. Respiratory syncytial virus infection and bronchiolitis. Pediatr Rev. 2014;35(12):519-530. doi:10.1542/pir.35-12-519

2. Jones A. RSV: when it’s more than just a cold. Updated November 4, 2019. Accessed June 28, 2021.

3. Glezen WP et al. Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(6):543-546

4. Collins et al. Journal of Virology. 2008:2040–2055

5. Rossi GA, Colin AA. Infantile respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus infections: respective role in inception and persistence of wheezing. Eur Respir J.2015;45(3):774-789. doi:10.1183/09031936.00062714

6. WHO strategy pilot global respiratory syncytial virus surveillance based on the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). World Health Organization. 2017. Accessed July 27, 2020.

7. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Accessed November 2019.

Veeva ID: Z4-36000
Date of Preparation: July 2021