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Study Looks at How to Detect RSV in Adults

LOUISVILLE Norton Infectious Diseases Institute has been chosen to study how to effectively detect respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults.

“For the most part, RSV attention has been focused on children,” said Julio A. Ramirez, MD, FACP, chief scientific officer, Norton Infectious Diseases Institute. “But some studies have suggested that up to 10% of adults with respiratory illness have RSV.”

The study, funded by Pfizer, will look at some of the best ways to identify RSV in adults. The long-term goal is to determine which adults are most impacted. Patients ages 40 years and older who are experiencing respiratory symptoms and admitted to one of Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are invited to participate in the study. Once enrolled, nasopharyngeal, saliva, sputum and blood samples will be collected.

RSV may also play a part in making underlying chronic health conditions worse, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, and immune systems conditions.

“The majority of adults who get RSV have very minor symptoms,” said Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CIC, FSHEA, FNAP, FAAN, director of research operations, Norton Infectious Diseases Institute. “But severe cases do occur in adults.”

Norton Infectious Diseases Institute was chosen for this study because of the team’s experience in clinical research. The team began enrolling patients in December 2021 and has more than 300 patients participating to date. The goal is to enroll up to 3,000 individuals over the course of the next two RSV seasons, which generally run November through April.


Julio A. Ramirez, MD, FACP, is chief scientific officer for Norton Infectious Diseases Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Ruth Carrico, PhD, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CIC, FSHEA, FNAP, FAAN, is director of research operations for Norton Infectious Diseases Institute. She is a family nurse practitioner and gratis faculty professor with the University of Louisville School Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases.