Best of ERS International Congress 2023: Hot topics on infectious diseases and vaccination - European Medical Journal

Best of ERS International Congress 2023: Hot topics on infectious diseases and vaccination


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Interviews of 4 experts in pulmonology giving key highlights of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2023 on infectious diseases and vaccination

RSV’s impact on older adults with underlying respiratory conditions and prevention options

Interview of Professor Guy Joos (Ghent University Hospital, Belgium)

Respiratory syncytial virus is an important cause of acute respiratory infections. It is known that RSV is a leading cause of hospitalization in children below 5 years of age1. Older adults ≥ 60 years old and especially those with underlying comorbidities are also at high risk of severe RSV infections and subsequent complications leading to hospitalization and death2.

How can RSV vaccination help to protect the population?

Why vaccination is so important for patients with chronic respiratory diseases?

Interview of Professor Tobias Welte (Medical University Center Hannover, Germany)

Infections have a significant burden on patients with chronic respiratory diseases and are a main cause of COPD and asthma exacerbation, which can lead to hospitalizations and higher mortality rates3.

What is the role of vaccination in protecting those high-risk patients?

Prevention of respiratory infections in COPD patients via vaccination

Interview of Professor Claus Vogelmeier (University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Germany)

The majority of COPD exacerbations are infectious in origin, with respiratory viruses identified in approximately 30% of cases4. Could exacerbations triggered by preventable viral diseases be reduced by vaccination? Which vaccinations could COPD patients benefit from?

Recent updates on pneumococcal vaccination

Interview of Professor Francesco Blasi (University of Milan, Italy)

Pneumococcal infection is a leading cause of hospitalization and death in patients with chronic diseases4. It is also known that a preceding or a concurrent viral respiratory tract infection such as respiratory syncytial virus infection, can predispose to a secondary bacterial superinfection5.

How important is to vaccinate patients with underlying comorbidities? What is the news in that field?


  1. Graham BS. The Journey to RSV Vaccines – Heralding an Era of Structure-Based Design. N Engl J Med. 2023;388(7):579-581.
  2. Papi A, Ison MG, Langley JM, et al. Respiratory Syncytial Virus Prefusion F Protein Vaccine in Older Adults. N Engl J Med. 2023;388(7):595-608.
  3. Hewitt R, Farne H, Ritchie A, Luke E, Johnston SL, Mallia P. The role of viral infections in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Therapeutic advances in respiratory disease.2016;10(2), 158-174.
  4. Simon S, Joean O, Welte T, Rademacher J. The role of vaccination in COPD: influenza, SARS-CoV-2, pneumococcus, pertussis, RSV and varicella zoster virus. Eur Respir Rev. 2023;32(169):230034.
  5. Bakaletz LO. Viral-bacterial co-infections in the respiratory tract. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2017;35:30-35.


GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A., Rixensart, Belgium. © 2023 GSK group of companies or its licensor. PM-GBL-RSA-WCNT-230009 | October 2023

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