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Using research to prepare for outbreaks of severe acute respiratory infection
  1. For the SPRINT-SARI investigators
    1. Correspondence to Srinivas Murthy; srinivas.murthy{at}


    Severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) remain one of the leading causes of mortality around the world in all age groups. There is large global variation in epidemiology, clinical management and outcomes, including mortality. We performed a short period observational data collection in critical care units distributed globally during regional peak SARI seasons from 1 January 2016 until 31 August 2017, using standardised data collection tools. Data were collected for 1 week on all admitted patients who met the inclusion criteria for SARI, with follow-up to hospital discharge. Proportions of patients across regions were compared for microbiology, management strategies and outcomes. Regions were divided geographically and economically according to World Bank definitions. Data were collected for 682 patients from 95 hospitals and 23 countries. The overall mortality was 9.5%. Of the patients, 21.7% were children, with case fatality proportions of 1% for those less than 5 years. The highest mortality was in those above 60 years, at 18.6%. Case fatality varied by region: East Asia and Pacific 10.2% (21 of 206), Sub-Saharan Africa 4.3% (8 of 188), South Asia 0% (0 of 35), North America 13.6% (25 of 184), and Europe and Central Asia 14.3% (9 of 63). Mortality in low-income and low-middle-income countries combined was 4% as compared with 14% in high-income countries. Organ dysfunction scores calculated on presentation in 560 patients where full data were available revealed Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores on presentation were significantly associated with mortality and hospital length of stay. Patients in East Asia and Pacific (48%) and North America (24%) had the highest SOFA scores of >12. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that initial SOFA score and age were independent predictors of hospital survival. There was variability across regions and income groupings for the critical care management and outcomes of SARI. Intensive care unit-specific factors, geography and management features were less reliable than baseline severity for predicting ultimate outcome. These findings may help in planning future outbreak severity assessments, but more globally representative data are required.

    • outbreak preparedness
    • influenza
    • pneumonia
    • global health
    • critical care

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    • Collaborators Vann Mich, Khmer Soviet Friend Hospital. Yaty Pho, Khmer Soviet Friend Hospital. Sotharith Bory, Calmette Hospital and University of Health Sciences. Mich Vann, Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and University of Health Sciences. Bunlor Teav, Takeo Provincial Hospital. Leakhann Som, National Pediatric Hospital. Mikko J Jarrvisalo, Turku university hospital, ICU. Anni Pulkkinen, Central Hospital of Central Finland. Anne Kuitunen, Tampere University Hospital. Tero Ala-kokko, Oulu University Hospital, Research Group of Anesthesiology, Surgery and Intensive Care Medicine. Sari. Melto, South Karelia Central Hospital. Thomas DAIX, Reanimation polyvalente, CHU Dupuytren, Limoges, France and Inserm CIC 1435, CHU Dupuytren, Limoges, France. Francois Philippart, Intensive Care Unit. Marchalot Antoine, Dieppe General Hospital. Kelly Tiercelet, Groupe hospitalier Paris Saint Joseph. Cedric Bruel, Groupe hospitalier Paris Saint Joseph. BRUYERE Remi, Centre Hospitalier Fleyriat. Sedillot Nicholas, Centre Hospitalier Fleyriat. Shidasp SIAMI, General Intensive Care Medicine, Sud Essonne Hospital Etampes. Marchalot Antoine, Centre Hospitalier Dieppe. Taimon Fabienne, Service de Medecine Intensive et Reanimation, Rouen University Hospital (G.B.), and Normandie University, Universite de Rouen, U1096, Rouen University Hospital. Philippart, Groupe hospitalier Paris Saint joseph. Raomi Bruyere, Service de reanimation. Centre Hospitalier Fleyriat. Xavier Forceville, Grand Hopital de l'Est Francilien. Simon Erickson, Perth Children's Hospital. Lewis Campbell, Royal Darwin Hospital. Ravikiran Sonawane, Rockingham General Hospital. John Santamaria, St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne). Mark Kol, Concord Hospital. Shally Awasthi, King George's Medical University. Jeff Powis, Michael Garron Hospital. Richard Hall, Dalhousie University. Anne E McCarthy, University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital. Philippe Jouvet, Ste-Justine Hospital and Research Center. Mary Anne Opavsky, Joseph Brant Hospital. Elaine Gilfoyle, University of Calgary. Nataly Farshait, Humber River Hospital. Dori-Ann Martin, University of Calgary. Donald Griesdale, Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics Department of Medicine, Divisions of Critical Care Medicine & Neurology University of British Columbia. Kevin Katz, North York General Hospital. Aaron J. Ruberto, Queen's University & Kingston Health Sciences Centre. Francois Martin Carrier, Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal. Francois Lamontagne, Universite de Sherbrooke. John Muscedere, Queens University. Asgar Rishu, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Wai Ching Sin, Department of Adult Intensive Care Unit, Queen Mary Hospital. Wallace Chun Wai Ngai, Department of Adult Intensive Care Unit, Queen Mary Hospital. Paul Young, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand. Dr Annette Forrest, Waikato Hospital. Alex Kazemi, Middlemore Hospital. Seton Henderson, Christchurch Hospital. Troy Browne, Tauranga Hospital. Anusha Ganeshalingham, Starship Hospital. Rachael McConnochie, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Auckland City Hospital. Jae Hwa Cho, Yonsei University. Tai Sun Park, Hanyang University Guri Hospital. Yun Su Sim, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Hospital. Youjin Chang, Inje University, College of Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital. Heung Bum Lee, Chonbuk National University Hospital. Seung Yong Park, Chonbuk National University Hospital. Wai Ming Chan, Department of Adult Intensive Care Unit, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. Won-Yeon Lee, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine. David J. Wallace, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Derek C. Angus, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Anthony G Charles, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. H Rogier van Doorn, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. Nguyen Van Kinh, National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Nguyen Vu Trung, National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Meghan Prin, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Theogene Twagirumugabe, University of Rwanda /College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Olivier Felix Umuhire, Department of Anesthesia, Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. University of Rwanda. Habarurema Sylvain, Centre hospitalier Universitaire de Butare(CHUB). Eman Al Qasim, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center. Jean-Michel Heraud, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. Mihaja Raberahona, University Hospital Joseph Raseta Befelatanana. Joelinotahiana Hasina Rabarison, Insttut Pasteur de Madagascar. Santiago Perez Patrigeon, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutrición Salvador Subirán. Alejandra Ramirez-Venegas, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias Ismael Cosio Villegas. Javier Araujo Meléndez, Hospital Central "Dr. Ignacio Morones Prieto". M. Lourdes Guerrero, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiren. Ivan Mambule, Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Infection and Global Health University of Liverpool and Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust, Clinical Research Programme. Otieno George Ochieng, Kijabe Mission Hospital. Behzad Nadjm, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, GBR. Iris Wai Sum Li, Queen Mary Hospital; School of Public Health, the University of Hong Kong. Won-Il Choi, Department of Medicine, Keimyung University, Dongsan Hospital. Komurian-Pradel Florence, Fondation Merieux. Yaseen M Arabi, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Intensive Care Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City. T. Eoin West, University of Washington. Elisabeth D Riviello, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Rachael Parke, Cardiothoracic and Vascular ICU, Auckland City Hospital. AnnaneE Djillali, Raymond Poincare Hospital (APHP) Unievrsity of Versailles SQY/University Paris Saclay. Robert Fowler, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto. Srinivas Murthy, Department of Pediatrics. Alistair Nichol, University College Dublin / Monash University. Allen C Cheng, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Calum Semple, University of Liverpool. Maya George, Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Monash University. Miia Valkonen, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital. Colin McArthur, Auckland City Hospital (DCCM 82). Gail Carson, University of Oxford. Genevieve O'Neill, Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Monash University. J. Perren Cobb, University of Southern California. Jake Dunning, University of Oxford; Imperial College London. Jean-Daniel Chiche, Hopitaux Universitaire Paris Centre, site Cochin. Jin-Won Huh, ASAN Medical Center. John Marshall, St. Michael's Hospital. Jordi Rello, Ciberes & Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. Julia Guillebaud, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. Norosoa Razanazatovo, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. Juilett Wambura Otieno, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme. Karen Green, Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network. Kathy Rowan, Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre. John Kenneth Baillie, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Laura Merson, Infectious Diseases Data Observatory, Oxford, UK; Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University, Oxford UK. Li Yang Hsu, National University of Singapore. Michael D. Christian, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust. Miia Valkonen, Helsinki University Central Hospital. Moritoki Egi, Kobe University Hospital. Nahoko Shindo, World Health Organization. Peter Horby, University of Oxford. Raul Pardinaz-Solis, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford. Sebastián Ugarte Ubiergo, Universidad Andrés Bello. Steve AR Webb, Monash University. Timothy M. Uyeki, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia USA. Anthony C Gordon, Imperial College London. David L Paterson, University of Queensland Centre. Dean Everett, University of Edinburgh, The Queens Medical Research Institute and Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust, Clinical Research Programme. Evangelos J. Giamarellos-Bourboulis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School. Kajsa-Stina Longuere, University of Oxford. David Maslove, Queens University. Eric Ohuma, Oxford University. Gloria Crowl, Michael Garron Hospital. Theresa PedutemHumber, River Hospital. Edward EllazarHumber, River Hospital. Ilona Bahinskaya, University Health Network TGH MOT. Joan Osbourne-Townsend, Humber River Hospital. Andrew Bentley, University of Manchester. Ingeborg Welters, University of Liverpool. Nadia Malik, MountSinai Hospital/ William Osler Health Centre. Dr T S Browne, Tauranga Hospital. Jennifer Goodson, Tauranga Hospital. Vinaya Mahesh, North York General Hospital.

    • Contributors All authors, listed in the attached sheet, made substantial contributions to the design and data analysis of this work, provided comments in drafting this manuscript, approved the final version submitted, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

    • Funding We acknowledge support from the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia, the Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group and the Seventh Framework Program in Europe, which have facilitated the progress that has been made for central project infrastructure. Data collection was funded locally by local research coordinators and investigators, including the International Respiratory and Severe Illness Center, University of Washington. The funding sources have no role in the study design, data collection or report writing.

    • Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Patient consent Required at specific sites.

    • Ethics approval The study has been approved by all relevant ethics required at specific sites. Institutional approvals varied according to the hospital and nation, with countries such as the UK collecting data as part of pre-existing preparedness exercises and test activations of rapid response protocols.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Data sharing statement All data collected have been de-identified and will be made available to collaborators upon request after approval by the SPRINT-SARI management committee. All research tools, including case report forms, protocols and data dictionaries, are available at for others to adapt and use.

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