Prevalence and clinical implications of respiratory viruses in asthma during stable disease state and acute attacks: Protocol for a meta-analysis

Gioulinta S. Alimani, Sachin Ananth, Cristina Boccabella, Ekaterina Khaleva, Graham Roberts, Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, Chris Kosmidis, Jørgen Vestbo, Effie Papageorgiou, Apostolos Beloukas, Alexander G. Mathioudakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Viruses are detected in over 50% of acute asthma attacks and in a notable proportion of patients with asthma during stable disease state They are associated with worse outcomes. We will conduct a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to quantify the prevalence and clinical burden of various respiratory viruses in stable asthma and acute asthma attacks. In addition, we will assess the viral loads of respiratory viruses during stable and acute asthma, to explore whether viral load could differentiate attacks triggered by viruses versus those where viruses are present as “innocent bystanders”. Materials and methods Based on a prospectively registered protocol (PROSPERO, ID: CRD42023375108) and following standard methodology recommended by Cochrane, we will systematically search Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and relevant conference proceedings for studies assessing the prevalence or clinical burden of respiratory viruses in asthma. Methodological rigour of the included studies will be appraised using a tool specific for prevalence studies and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale respectively. In anticipation of significant clinical and methodological heterogeneity, we will conduct random effect meta-analyses. For evaluating the prevalence of viruses, we will perform meta-analyses of proportions using the inverse variance method, and the Freeman-Tukey transformation. We will conduct meta-regression analyses for exploring heterogeneity. Conclusion We envisage that these systematic reviews and meta-analyses will quantify the prevalence and burden of respiratory viruses in stable and acute asthma and will drive future research and clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0294416
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Early online date15 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2023


  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Asthma/epidemiology
  • Viruses
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic


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