Division of Viral Respiratory Infections in Children

 Director — Olga I. Afanasyeva, Dr.Med.Sci. 

 Dir. telephone  +7 (812) 499–15–41

 Div. telephone  +7 (812) 499–15–40

 E-mail: olga.afanasyeva@influenza.spb.ru

The Division of Pediatric Respiratory Viral Infection was organized in order to study the etiology, immunopathogenesis, and clinical features of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections that are most commonly seen in pediatric practice, both during epidemic and inter-epidemic periods.

Main activities

  • Introduction of an evidence-based system for diagnosing and treating patients with acute respiratory viral infections in pediatric hospitals, including: annual monitoring of influenza; clinical, laboratory, etiological, and immunological examination of patients as part of global influenza surveillance; and determination of treatment strategies depending on the antigenic classification of the pathogen and immune response characteristics
  • Development of scientific research projects featuring multifaceted analysis of patient status using modern, rapid (etiological) diagnostic methods; evaluation of severe acute respiratory infections in hospitalized patients using a wide range of clinical and laboratory analysis.
  • Clinical and laboratory analysis of annual epidemic periods as part of the Global Influenza Hospital Surveillance Network (Etiology of Influenza grant, France) and in collaboration with the Institute’s etiology and epidemiology scientific research departments
  • Research, in accordance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines and current Russian legislation, on a wide range of biologically active substances, drugs, technologies, materials, and medical products used in the treatment of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) in various age groups
  • Department researchers (certified in infectious diseases, pediatrics, virology, immunology/allergy, and GCP) introduce innovative principles of influenza diagnosis and therapy to pediatric practice and training systems based on clinical studies of ARVI drug effectiveness


  • Development of preventative and therapeutic schemes for drug use, in patients of different age and risk groups, as published in *approved methodological guidelines and protocols for the treatment of influenza, HRSV, and adenovirus infection (Russian Ministry of Health;  Assoc. of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Infectious Medicine Specialists; Eurasian Society for Infectious Diseases), including: 1. Influenza in children ID: KR249 - cr.rosminzdrav.ru (index of Russian Ministry of Health clinical recommendations), 2017; 2. Provision of medical care for children with HRSV infection (clinical guidelines), 2017.
  • Methodological approaches to forecasting the course of influenza have been determined based on the concept of the existence of three immune response types. Based on these, criteria have been developed for the use of etiotropic and immunocorrective drugs in the treatment of pediatric influenza.
  • Immunopathogenetic factors have been established that influence the development of severe ARVI syndromes in different age groups.
  • The role of atypical pathogens (within the etiological spectrum of acute respiratory viral infections) responsible for the formation of recurrent and chronic respiratory ailments in patients during influenza epidemics has been determined, and a therapeutic strategy has been substantiated.
  • Over the past five years, two dissertations (Doctor of Medical Sciences) have been defended: “Clinical features, Immunopathogenesis, and Antiviral Therapy of Modern Influenza in Children” (O.I. Afanasyeva); and “Conceptual and Diagnostic Patterns of the Immune Response to Influenza and Immunocorrection" (E.G. Golovacheva).
  • Fifty doctors have been trained by clinical internship in the Infectious Disease specialty.

Scientific and practical activities of the department

Scientific and clinical activities

  • Clinical trials and consultations on issues related to the evaluation of the effectiveness of drugs used in patient treatment
  • Development of rational therapy regimens, protocols, and recommendations for the treatment of pediatric acute respiratory infections
  • Rapid ARVI diagnostics using immunofluorescent antibodies and test systems at bedside
  • Consultative and diagnostic support in the treatment of severe respiratory infections
  • Investigation of epidemic-associated deaths
  • Consultative, diagnostic, research, and educational activities for the training of infectious disease-specialized physicians are carried out by scientific staff in cooperation with pediatric respiratory viral infection departments at base hospitals (St. Olga State Pediatric City Hospital, Filatov State Pediatric City Hospital Number 5) and in accordance with agreements on joint activities between scientific institutions and applied health care institutions.

Prevention activities

  • Analysis of prophylactic drug efficacy in accordance with GCP guidelines
  • Participation in the testing of new strains used in the production of live and inactivated influenza vaccines in the context of seasonal (specific) prevention of pediatric influenza, especially in group settings

Scientific and organizational activities

The scientific achievements of department staff are presented annually at congresses and forums, both in Russia and internationally.

Educational activities

  • Training of numerous physicians via clinical residency in the Infectious Disease specialty
  • Scientific and educational lectures at the Federal Passenger Company and at applied healthcare institutions
  • Postgraduate and scientific staff training


  • Patent 2522276: A method for predicting exacerbation of bronchial asthma and/or cystic fibrosis in pediatric influenza (OI Afanasyeva, EG Golovacheva, LA Zhelenina, VF Sukhovetskaya), 2014
  • Patent 2546540: A method for influenza prevention via the combined use of interferon-gamma and inactivated influenza vaccine (OI Kiselev, EG Golovacheva, MA Stukova, et al.), 2015
  • Patent 2518277: A method for the treatment of influenza and influenza-like illnesses complicated by pneumonia (LV Voloshchuk, EG Golovacheva, LV Osidak, et al.), 2012
  • Patent 2424768: A method for predicting the course of pediatric acute respiratory viral infections (EG Golovacheva, EV Obraztsova, LV Osidak, OI Afanasyeva), 2011