Bacterial and viral coinfections with the human respiratory syncytial virus

Gaspar A. Pacheco, Nicolás M.S. Gálvez, Jorge A. Soto, Catalina A. Andrade, Alexis M. Kalergis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is one of the leading causes of acute lower respiratory tract infections in children under five years old. Notably, hRSV infections can give way to pneumonia and predispose to other respiratory complications later in life, such as asthma. Even though the social and economic burden associated with hRSV infections is tremendous, there are no approved vaccines to date to prevent the disease caused by this pathogen. Recently, coinfections and superinfections have turned into an active field of study, and interactions between many viral and bacterial pathogens have been studied. hRSV is not an exception since polymicrobial infections involving this virus are common, especially when illness has evolved into pneumonia. Here, we review the epidemiology and recent findings regarding the main polymicrobial infections involving hRSV and several prevalent bacterial and viral respiratory pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, human rhinoviruses, influenza A virus, human metapneumovirus, and human parainfluenza viruses. As reports of most polymicrobial infections involving hRSV lack a molecular basis explaining the interaction between hRSV and these pathogens, we believe this review article can serve as a starting point to interesting and very much needed research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1293
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Coinfection
  • HMPV
  • HPIV
  • HRSV
  • HRV
  • IAV
  • P. aeruginosa
  • Respiratory infections
  • S. aureus
  • S. pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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